Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life, in a new town, but inside she’s still reeling from the loss of her beloved mother and grandmother after Hurricane Katrina washed away their home. Laurel’s new life is going well, with a new best friend, a place on the cheerleading squad and T-Boom, co-captain of the basketball team, for a boyfriend. Yet Laurel is haunted by voices and memories from her past.
When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she immediately falls under its spell, loving the way it erases, even if only briefly, her past. But as she becomes alienated from her friends and family, she becomes a shell of her former self, and longs to be whole again. With help from an artist named Moses and her friend Kaylee, she’s able to begin to rewrite her story and start to move on from her addiction.
Incorporating Laurel’s bittersweet memories of life before and during the hurricane, this is a stunning novel by one of our finest writers. Jacqueline Woodson’s haunting – but ultimately hopeful – story is beautifully told and one readers will not want to miss.
About Jacqueline Woodson
Born on February 12th in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline Woodson grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York and graduated from college with a B.A. in English. She now writes full-time and has recently received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. Her other awards include a Newbery Honor, two Coretta Scott King awards, two National Book Award finalists, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Although she spends most of her time writing, Woodson also enjoys reading the works of emerging writers and encouraging young people to write, spending time with her friends and her family, and sewing. Jacqueline Woodson currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Laurel and her family suffered devastating loss when her mother and grandmother were victims of a terrible storm (probably Katrina, from the timeline) in Pass Christian, Miss. Finally, they seem to be settling into a new life, in a new town, with new friends. Laurel joins the cheerleading squad and catches the eye of the school’s star athlete. Unfortunately, he is a methamphetamine, or “moon,” user. Before long, she joins him and begins a downward spiral that results in painful estrangement from all she loves. Life on the streets brings her into the path of Moses, who has known his own loss and uses his artistic ability to pay tribute to young people who are caught in the drug snare. Margaret A. Edwards Award–winner Woodson crafts a story of powerful emotional intensity through her poignant portrayal of a young woman lost and in pain. The depiction of small-town life, with its Dollar Store, Wal-Mart and limited economic opportunities adds texture and authenticity. This is beautifully written, with clear prose that honors the story it tells: “Hard not to think about not deserving this kind of beauty, this kind of cold. This…this clarity.” Most of all, it is populated with fully realized characters who struggle to make sense of tragedy. Laurel’s friend Kaylee urges her to “[w]rite an elegy to the past….and move on.” – Kirkus Reviews
Not Just for Kids: ‘Beneath a Meth Moon’ by Jacqueline Woodson
The Chicago Tribune Book Review – February 12, 2012 (Excerpt)
If there’s any common thread among drug addicts, it’s an aversion to feeling uncomfortable emotions. The cause of the emotion is unimportant. What matters is the individual’s inability to deal with it healthily.
This unsettling cause-and-effect pairing has long been a theme in the ever-expanding young adult canon, but it gets a timely makeover in “Beneath a Meth Moon.” The latest teen novel from National Book Award honoree Jacqueline Woodson fuses the devastation of Hurricane Katrina with a 15-year-old’s meth addiction. Described as an “elegy” on its title page, the novel mourns the drowning of a young woman’s mother and grandmother and the narrator’s unwitting embrace of methamphetamines as a result.
In less talented hands, such a concept with a one-two punch could easily be dismissed as sensationalism, but Woodson handles each aspect of her story with compassion and lyricism. Fifteen-year-old Laurel may not fully understand or even feel her sorrow, but Woodson channels it for her in a tone that explains without condescension.
Told in a pastiche of flashbacks from Laurel’s point of view, the book embraces the advice of a rehab counselor to “go backward. And don’t stop when it gets painful.” Those same sentences apply to Woodson’s construction of “Beneath a Meth Moon,” which begins with the story’s conclusion: A successfully rehabbed Laurel prepares to recount her struggles. [Read the full article...]
CRIMSON DAWN Book One of the Darklife Saga by Ronnie Massey
Two Women Hunting A Rogue Vampire
Vampire Valeria Trumaine must confront old demons and face new possibilities as she struggles to bring a rogue vampire to justice. Her best friend and powerful Sidhe princess, Irulan, joins the hunt. Valeria will find that Irulan’s motives for keeping her safe are not what she thinks. And soon she is faced with an undeniable attraction that makes her question everything she knew about herself. [Read More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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