Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren

What the Moon SaidWhat the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A ring around the moon is an omen of bad things to come. Ten-year-old Esther doesn’t know whether or not she believes her Ma’s superstitions, but the moon’s warning seems to come true when her father loses his job in Chicago. The year is 1930 and the nation is in the grip of the Great Depression. City jobs are impossible to find. Esther and her family move to a ramshackle farm in Wisconsin to eke a living out of the land. There is no electricity or plumbing, but Esther is excited about the move. There are horses and cows and, best of all, a dog.

Not wanting to bring more misfortune, Esther does her best to follow her Ma’s rules. But life is not simple when a sign of bad luck means that Esther must turn her back on the only friend she has. Esther is caught between loyalty to her Ma and her own heart, all while trying to survive the harsh Wisconsin winter.

Rosengren’s WHAT THE MOON SAID is a large-hearted debut. It is my favorite kind of historical fiction, making a long-ago time feel as real and relatable as current day. While some of Esther’s struggles — farm life and gripping poverty — may be unfamiliar to some young readers, Esther’s deepest wishes will hit very close to home. Readers will easily see themselves in Esther’s desire to understand her place in the family, her need for friendship, and her pleasure in everyday adventure.


WHAT THE MOON SAID releases on February 20, 2014. But we are fortunate that Gayle has given an ARC to The Kidliterati for a giveaway.

Don't miss out on this wonderful story! Enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

View all my reviews

-- Jean


  1. OOH, this sounds like one of those middle grade reads that allows you to sink into the characters. I love that feeling. Looking forward to reading!

  2. One of my very favorite reads of the past five years is HATTIE BIG SKY, which sounds a little similar. Looking forward to reading this one!

  3. Perfect timing! I'm looking for a gift for a girl who loves historical fiction. This is it!

  4. Great cover! Sounds like a perfect middle grade novel.

  5. What the Moon Said is an absolutely terrific Middle Grade historical fiction book, with one of the best main characters, vibrant & lovable Esther, in recent Middle Grade literature. And so skillfully written, with just the right voice for someone of Esther's age, a perfect structure (flows seamlessly from scene to scene, chapter to chapter), and truly beautiful use of language. A great mother-daughter relationship book. Also, because it is written so well and at an age-appropriate level for Middle Grade minds, would be an excellent read out-loud book for home or the classroom. Teachers & Librarians will love this book, both as a teaching tool and as recommended reading. Terrific book indeed!


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