Beneath a Meth Moon

by Jacqueline Woodson

In layers of flashback, fifteen-year-old Laurel reveals events that led to her fall... read more

In layers of flashback, fifteen-year-old Laurel reveals events that led to her fall into meth addiction and her eventual emergence into a hopeful place of new beginnings. When she was twelve, Laurel’s mother and grandmother died after Hurricane Katrina hit Pass Christian, Mississippi. This devastating loss is brought into greater relief throughout the rest of the novel as the more recent story unfolds. Laurel, her father, and young brother eventually settle in the small town of Galilee. Basketball team co-captain T-Boom introduces her to meth, and Laurel soon becomes consumed by it, devasting her father. Laurel runs away and is living on the streets of another small town when she meets Moses, an African American foster kid whose mother died from meth. Moses earns money by painting murals of meth victims—his commissions from bereaved family members serve as cautionary public service announcements on buildings around the town. Moses doesn’t look through Laurel like others, and that ends up being the difference between life and death for Laurel, and the start of real healing. Author Jacqueline Woodson treats this hard and timely topic with raw honesty as well as her trademark grace. Laurel’s voice is like a whisper, but one that you want to lean in closer to hear so you don’t miss anything she has to say. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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