Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Laugh With the Moon by Shanna Burg - ESSENTIAL

Burg, Shanna Laugh With the Moon, 256 pgs. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2012; $16.99. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G

Clare’s mom has recently died of cancer.  If things aren’t bad enough, her father, a doctor, takes her to Africa for a couple of months to do a service project.  In the beginning, Clare hates living in Africa and feels sorry for herself -- that is, until she meets Memory and her six-year-old little brother, Innocent.  Memory and Innocent lost both mom and dad to sicknesses.  While Clare is going to school, the school master asks Clare to teach English to Innocent’s class because they don’t have enough teachers. One day Clare and her friends decide to go to a lake.  While on the trip, Innocent gets sick. They are unable to make it to the hospital and he dies. Memory is very upset at her brother’s death and Clare feels it is her fault.  At the end of the story, Clare asks Memory how she keeps going when she has lost both parents and her only brother.  She tells Clare “Even the mourner must stop and laugh with the moon.”  By the end of the book, Clare has undergone a lot of personal growth.  

I enjoyed this book. By reading this book, the reader will learn the way African children live, about their education, what they eat, health care, and family life.  I think this book would be good for middle schools and high schools. Because it is easy to read, I recommend it to readers that struggle and ELL students. 

MS – ESSENTIAL, HS-ADVISABLE. Reviewed by M. Duncan

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