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Monday, September 7, 2015

Review: Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton {giveaway}

I'm over the moon (heehee) excited to share my review of this wonderful middle-grade book with y'all! Plus, you can win a copy...

Full Cicada Moon
by Marilyn Hilton
September 8, 2015
Dial Books
Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up for what’s right

It's 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi's appearance is all anyone notices. She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no.

This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi's perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.

* “Readers will be moved by the empathetic lyricism of Mimi’s maturing voice.”—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

* “This novel stands out with it’s thoughtful portrayal of race and its embrace of girls in science and technical fields. The verse, though spare, is powerful and evocative, perfectly capturing Mimi’s emotional journey.”—School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

* “Perfect for readers who straddle societies, feel they don’t fit in, or need that confirmation of self-celebration.”—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Through the perspective of this clear-eyed, courageous heroine, Hilton (Found Things) powerfully recreates a time of momentous transition in American history.”—Publishers Weekly

“Like Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Hilton re-creates a time and place in American history and makes it vividly alive through the eyes of an intelligent, spirited girl…Fans of historical fiction and poetry will enjoy this novel.”—VOYA

It’s 1969 and twelve year old Mimi has just moved from Berkeley, California to a small town in Vermont, where her father is a professor at the local college. Mimi doesn’t want to stand out, but being half-black and half-Japanese in a predominately white town gets her noticed. Not only do people find Mimi’s family unusual, they find her interest in the space program and dream of being an astronaut very unusual for a girl. Mimi must learn to face the prejudices thrown her way and in doing so, she learns who she really is.

Marilyn Hilton’s Full Cicada Moon is a thoughtful, tender middle-grade book told in verse. With an authentic voice, lyrical writing, and touching story, I found Full Cicada Moon quite stunning and refreshing! Hilton has crafted a quiet, yet powerful and thought-provoking story full of heart and endearing characters.

Narrated by Mimi through her honest, lovely free verse, the text in Full Cicada Moon is both pleasing to the eyes and ears. Mimi is such an engaging, likable character with so much compassion, smarts, and determination. Readers will easily be charmed and inspired by this awesome girl. Hilton gives Mimi such a captivating and beautiful voice and she feels so very real. Mimi’s story- her struggles, her dreams, her fears- are just so relatable and wonderfully explored. And Mimi is surrounded by an excellent and eclectic group of characters. From her understanding father to her caring mother, fun best friend, the sweet boy next door, and more, readers will come to adore and admire these characters.

From the lunar landing, civil rights marches, the Vietnam war, and more, 1969 was a happening year, and Hilton does a great job of weaving these thought-provoking topics throughout Mimi’s story, while not overwhelming middle-grade readers. There’s much in Full Cicada Moon that will encourage and inspire thoughtful discussions among young readers.

my final thoughts: With its gorgeous verse, unforgettable heroine, and thoughtful story, Full Cicada Moon is an exceptional and important middle-grade book that will inspire, engage, and touch readers.

5/5 yummy cupcakes

Marilyn Hilton has published numerous short stories, poems, essays, and two previous children’s books. She lives with her husband and three children in Northern California.

Win a hardcover copy of
Full Cicada Moon!
The wonderful folks at Penguin have offered one book for one winner.
-US only
-ends 9/13
please read full rules below

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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anne s. said...

I love novels written in verse. This sounds like a perfect read! Thanks for the giveaway :)

Judy said...

I am not sure I have ever read a book written in verse. I will have to check that out. I love the cover on this also.

Lynnette said...

My students love novels in verse. It's refreshing to see a true middle grade version. This looks to be a lovley addition to any collection.