for A Cool Moonlight by Angela Johnson
Born with xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare skin disease, eight-year-old Lila can die if she is exposed to sunlight. During the daytime, she’s restricted to the house with all shades drawn. Her freedom comes with the setting sun. She loves to be outside in the darkness. She loves to race her cart through an almost deserted grocery store in the middle of the night, calling out to her dad in the next aisle. Sometimes her older sister, Monk, takes her into the city at night, and Lila hangs out with Monk and her friends in a coffee house. But Lila longs to feel the sun and to dance in its light. She has two friends—two nighttime friends—who are willing to help her try. Angela Johnson’s memorable first-person narrative captures the complexities and maturity of a child who has had to acknowledge her own mortality, and then go on with living. Readers may realize that Lila’s two friends, Alyssa and Elizabeth, are imaginary, inspired by her own desires and needs. As haunting as Lila’s situation may seem, she is clearly a happy and deeply thoughtful child, supported by a family that has affirmed her in every way. Her desire to dance in the light is realized in an unexpected, extraordinary way at the conclusion of this novel that casts its own subdued but insistent light. The intimately sized book is enhanced by a lovely design that shows the moon’s changing phases over the course of a month—the story’s timeframe—on the opening page of each chapter. (Ages 9–12)
CCBC Choices 2004 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004. Used with permission.
Born with a rare and dangerous allergy to sunlight, Lila's spent her life hidden from the daylight-staying covered up and indoors until dark, only venturing outside after the sun has set and the moon's cool light shines. Almost every night, she is visited by two young girls who wear tutus over their jeans and costume fairy wings, and the three of them dance and tell wonderful stories. But while Lila adores her family and her new friends, still she longs to feel the sun's touch. Lila's mysterious friends have promised to help her . . . but how?
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.