A Nearer Moon
by Melanie Crowder
September 8, 2015
Simon & Schuster
In a small river village where the water is cursed, a girl’s bravery—and the existence of magic—could mean the difference between life and death in this elegant, luminous tale from the author of Parched and Audacity.
Along a lively river, in a village raised on stilts, lives a girl named Luna. All her life she has heard tales of the time before the dam appeared, when sprites danced in the currents and no one got the mysterious wasting illness from a mouthful of river water. These are just stories, though—no sensible person would believe in such things.
Beneath the waves is someone who might disagree. Perdita is a young water sprite, delighting in the wet splash and sparkle, and sad about the day her people will finally finish building their door to another world, in search of a place that humans have not yet discovered.
But when Luna’s little sister falls ill with the river sickness, everyone knows she has only three weeks to live. Luna is determined to find a cure for her beloved sister, no matter what it takes. Even if that means believing in magic…
There was once magic in the world and sprites lived among the trees and in the river. At least that’s what people say. Now, there is only the dam and the cursed river. Anyone who drinks from the river gets the wasting sickness and has only three weeks to live. When her little sister, Willow, falls ill with this mysterious sickness, Luna sets out to save her, and finds that perhaps magic is the key. Meanwhile, underneath the river, lives a forgotten sprite named Perdita who may hold the miracle Luna seeks.
Melanie Crowder’s A Nearer Moon is an exquisite and timeless middle-grade read, full of heart, magic, fairytale elements, imagination, and a story that shines brighter than a full moon! With sparkling storytelling and charming characters, this book will captivate and enchant readers. Crowder weaves her story with that kind of lush, lyrical prose that just feels magical and glittery. Both Luna and Perdita’s worlds are vividly painted and explored. Young readers will find Luna’s village on stilts and the watery roadways to be refreshing and exciting, while Perdita’s watery wonderland is wondrous and whimsical.
Crowder does a beautiful job of intertwining Luna and Perdita’s stories of sisters, love, and hope. The characters in A Nearer Moon are full of charm, wit, courage, humor, and heart, and are irresistibly endearing.
my final thoughts: Gorgeously crafted and thoroughly enjoyable, A Nearer Moon will inspire imaginations, warm hearts, and simply dazzle readers!
5/5 yummy cupcakes
Melanie Crowder has received many honors for her debut novel, Parched, including Bank Street’s Best Books of the Year, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Silver Medal in the Parents’ Choice Awards, and a starred review from the Bulletin. Her second book, Audacity, received four starred reviews, has been nominated for the Amelia Bloomer, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, and ALSC Notable Children’s Books lists, and is an Editor’s Choice at BookBrowse and a Top Pick from BookPage. Her third novel, A Nearer Moon, has received three starred reviews and releases September 8 from Atheneum Books / S&S. The author holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she isn’t writing, Melanie can be found teaching, reading, daydreaming or exploring the beautiful state of Colorado where she lives with her family.