THAT GIRL LUCY MOON by Amy Timberlake
Release Date: August 6, 2006
REVIEW FROM ARC
Basic Plot: Lucy Moon is the girl who always stood up for what she believed – in years past, her causes focused on more worldly events, such as the working conditions for third-world workers, but this time, her energy is centered on battling one of the most powerful people in town to reclaim the best sledding hill in the neighborhood for public use. Lucy’s campaign begins with much energy, but by the middle of winter, she loses steam. Her mother left for a photography trip in the early fall and months later has still not returned, her relationship with her dad is strained, the kids at school have ostracized her because of the trouble participating in her campaign has caused, her best friend is maturing in ways she isn’t, and the principal is giving her major grief. It’s all too much for Lucy and she slides into a depression. But Lucy Moon without a spring in her step is just too horrible for thought and she finds confidence in herself and support from places she would never have expected.
This book has “make me into a movie” all over it. It’s funny, sad and even sweet. Lucy Moon is a very likeable character, and her emotions and reactions to events are real. Timberlake doesn’t paint Lucy as the perfect child, and that makes her much more appealing. Lucy’s anger, jealousy, ego and despair somehow fit perfectly with the other aspects of her personality and you can’t help but feel that Lucy, with all her faults, would be a wonderful person to know.
Simply put, I loved this book. Activism!
I enjoyed this book as well.
So much so that I included it on my amazon list of "Best Juvenile Fiction from 2001-2007:"
Another book about advocacy that you might enjoy is: Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies by Jill Wolfson.
This book was billed as a foster care book, but is really more focused on environmentalism.
I have to confess that when I read the bookflap for this one I thought I'd hate Lucy Moon; too Caitlin from original DeGrassi. I was afraid that Lucy was going to be obnoxious.
Ha ha on me; I totally fell for Lucy, for her causes, for her heartbreak.
The mother; I wanted to shake the mother. In "Hugging the Rock" (another mom leaves story) it was clear to me that the mother had true mental issues and also true parenting issues; her loss was heartbreaking but almost inevitable.
And in another "mom runs away" story, Mistik Lake, the mom being an alcoholic and selfcentered is clear from page one, so while I really disliked the mother, I understood it.
For Lucy Moon, mom seems to have left for no good reason; before she left, she was a good parent with a good relationship with her child. While I believe its realistic that a parent would be selfish enough and immature enough to run away like Lucy's mother did, and the author convinces me that this is real within the story, emotionally I had a hard time understanding it, and I sure as heck didn't welcome her back at the end.
That said, I also loved the friendship dynamics here, as well as how Lucy's depression was portrayed.
I liked the friendship dynamics, too--especially the way the girls compared themselves to each other as their interests diverged. I remember feeling threatened when my friends and I were no longer two peas in a pod, or three, or whatever.
And the mid-Westernisms (snowshoes, blizzards, krumkake, crocheted hotpads, toboggans, people named Eneborg) reminded me of my own Mom the way only Prarie Home Companion usually can. I love a little local color!
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