Beneath a Meth Moon

( 11 )

Overview

laurel would do anything to turn back time — to tell her mother and grandmother not to stay home near the beach with a hurricane coming

to say no when her boyfriend, T-Boom, the co-captain of the basketball team, offers her that first hit of moon — the drug that makes her feel bigger than all she’s lost

to have been there for her little brother and her best friend, Kaylee, ...

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Beneath a Meth Moon

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Overview

laurel would do anything to turn back time — to tell her mother and grandmother not to stay home near the beach with a hurricane coming

to say no when her boyfriend, T-Boom, the co-captain of the basketball team, offers her that first hit of moon — the drug that makes her feel bigger than all she’s lost

to have been there for her little brother and her best friend, Kaylee, when they needed her, instead of chasing the moon

But she can’t.

All she can do is move forward now. And only she can decide whether to face the pain and joy that is a part of living, or follow the moon to numbness and probably death. Only she can decide to choose to be there for her family and friends — or give them another thing to grieve.

Kaylee says, “Write an elegy to the past . . . and move on.” She says it’s all about moving on . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Mary Quattlebaum
Though Woodson doesn't stint on the grim details of Laurel's swift addiction…and difficult recovery…this powerful story is less a cautionary tale than one of courage, the courage to face the past, integrate emotional pain and rectify mistakes.
—The Washington Post
Booklist
"Will not disappoint readers. . . . Ends on a hopeful note: perhaps it is possible to write pain 'into the past and leave some of it there,' and reimagine a future."
The Horn Book
"Woodson takes us on the dark journey of addiction, mimicking the slow, hazy spell of drug use with the lull of her poetic prose. . . . Laurel's descent is brutally honest. . . . An intimate and compelling story of survival."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"As accurate as it is heartbreaking; readers will be deeply moved . . . they'll sympathize with [Laurel's] desire to find some way to feel better. . . . Readers looking to understand the attraction of a destructive substance will get a glimmer of understanding."
ALAN Review - Barbara A. Ward
Life brightens briefly for Laurel once her family moves from Jackson, Mississippi, to the small Midwest town of Galilee. She's a cheerleader and dating the high school's basketball star. But T-Boom introduces her to meth, and Laurel quickly comes to crave its effects. Meth helps her forget the family she left behind in August 2005 before Hurricane Katrina's arrival. But it also makes her forget the things that matter. She ends up on the street, begging for change to pay for her meth and becoming invisible to passersby. Laurel's poignant story is told in a series of remembrances of her once-happy life and the losses she has experienced. While her recovery is uncertain, clearly she is making the effort, thanks to supportive family and friends like street artist Moses. This is a gripping, honest account of life's pleasures and pains and what it takes to survive. Reviewer: Barbara A. Ward
School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 8 Up—Laurel celebrated her 15th birthday huddled against the rain and begging for money. The few precious coins tossed in her direction were spent chasing the moon, trying to forget the past. This wasn't always her life. She was happy during her pre-Hurricane Katrina days, but the drowning death of Mama and M'lady left her empty inside. Feeling displaced in her new home, Laurel meets Kaylee who convinces her to try out for the cheerleading squad. Yet the pain of her past continues gnawing inside until T-Boom, hot co-captain of the basketball team, offers her the moon—meth that helps her forget the past. Rehab and love are Laurel's saving grace. Kaylee tells her to write an elegy—"write it into the past." And so she does. Jacqueline Woodson's fabulous novel (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks., 2012) captures perfectly the decline from basketball cheerleader to street corner meth-head that begins with an innocent taste of the moon. This poignant story deftly tackles the strangling grip of addiction, its eroding power on family and friends, and the strength that hope and love offer for redemption. Narrator Cassandra Campbell is amazing in her ability to capture all the voices, from the southern, matriarchal pride of M'lady to the desperate pleas of a strung-out junkie and every character in between. A first pick choice!—Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Fifteen-year-old Laurel attempts to understand and move past a year of her life when addiction to methamphetamine nearly cost her family and her life. Laurel and her family suffered devastating loss when her mother and grandmother were victims of a terrible storm (probably Katrina, from the timeline) in Pass Christian, Miss. Finally, they seem to be settling into a new life, in a new town, with new friends. Laurel joins the cheerleading squad and catches the eye of the school's star athlete. Unfortunately, he is a methamphetamine, or "moon," user. Before long, she joins him and begins a downward spiral that results in painful estrangement from all she loves. Life on the streets brings her into the path of Moses, who has known his own loss and uses his artistic ability to pay tribute to young people who are caught in the drug snare. Margaret A. Edwards Award–winner Woodson crafts a story of powerful emotional intensity through her poignant portrayal of a young woman lost and in pain. The depiction of small-town life, with its Dollar Store, Wal-Mart and limited economic opportunities adds texture and authenticity. This is beautifully written, with clear prose that honors the story it tells: "Hard not to think about not deserving this kind of beauty, this kind of cold. This…this clarity." Most of all, it is populated with fully realized characters who struggle to make sense of tragedy. Laurel's friend Kaylee urges her to "[w]rite an elegy to the past….and move on." A moving, honest and hopeful story. (Fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455854554
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 2/7/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, is the author of Feathers, Newbery Honor winner Show Way, Miracle’s Boys (recipient of a Coretta Scott King Award and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Locomotion and Hush (both National Book Award finalists), among many others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Very Emotional Short Read

    Beneath A Meth Moon moves back and forth through time and is told by the main character, Laurel. She’s lost both her mother and grandmother in Hurricane Katrina and moves from her home to a new town with her father and little brother. Laurel is a writer and was encouraged by her grandmother to keep writing everything down and this encouragement continues when she meets a new friend, Kaylee. The words aren’t enough though and in her despair she finds solace in a new boyfriend and with him comes his addiction and supply of meth. She quickly becomes addicted as well and ends up living on the streets due to her addiction. There she meets Moses, an artist, who knows just what Laurel is up to and calls her on it, letting her know that she is going to end up dead if she continues on this way.

    This book is written as an elegy, which I have never read before. I read this quickly and in one evening, it is short and the words are printed in a large font on the pages. Even if it weren’t formatted that way, I still would have finished it quickly as it was truly engrossing. It is a very emotional story that deals with loss and being lost and not knowing how to process the feelings. The author has handled all of these thoughts and feelings wonderfully and made it very easy to relate to what Laurel is going through. Tears flowed again and again as I was reading and I was surprised that a short read could be so emotional and compelling. I can see this book being something teachers and parents will want their children to read as well due to the life lesson learned and the horrible reality of addiction.

    Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 7, 2013

    Beneath a Meth Moon was a very well written book that will just

    Beneath a Meth Moon was a very well written book that will just suck you into the story. While reading about Laurel whose mother and 
    grandmother were killed in hurricane Katrina, you feel like you could be one of the students who know her. It makes you feel like a part 
    of it especially when you are growing up with drug pressures today like Laurel, when T-Boom gets her hooked on the "moon",  you 
     may know what it's like to be offered. Her new friend Kaylee has met her long enough to know her without the moon, long enough to 
    have to deal with the addiction and separation from life Laurel is doing to herself. Jacqueline Woodson has somewhere found the perfect
     line between the edge of a depressing addiction with many realistic connections. The book was a very quick read, not because it was
    short, but because i didn't want to put it down within the two days i read it in. You will have to pick up this book for yourself to see what
    happens to Laurel and if she ever pieces her life back together.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Beneath A Meth Moon is a haunting and realistic portrayal of the

    Beneath A Meth Moon is a haunting and realistic portrayal of the horrible addiction that is meth. Written in the first person through the main character's eyes, Laurel is only fifteen when she becomes hooked on this drug that helps her escape the past. She struggles with the fact that her mother and grandmother are no longer living thanks to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    I think this novel was written so beautifully and powerfully. I really felt for Laurel and the pain that she was internalizing. Instead of dealing with the past head on, she found it easier to escape that emotional pain by numbing herself with the meth. She calls the addicting substance 'the moon' because it makes her fly as high as the moon itself.

    I really loved Moses. I thought he was a great character in the story and really helped Laurel find the proper help. He really helped her see that once you're dead, you're gone forever, and that drugs only shorten your life.

    Even though it is a rather short novel (182 pages), I found every page brimming with emotion and stark detail. I was very impressed by her writing and can't wait to read the rest of her books.

    Definitely one of the best books written so far this year.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Good book

    I started reading this book and I couldnt put it down..really great book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Simply Amazing

    Simply Amazing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Idiott to Frank

    We are so smart... Come to 'party' res 1 and poop on more people!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Frank

    Yup here yuo go

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    Beneath a meth moon is a story about a teenager named Laurel who

    Beneath a meth moon is a story about a teenager named Laurel who had everything. One day news arrives that there is a storm headed towards where they live. Laurels grandmother tells her that her father is going to take Laurel and her little brother up to Jackson just to make sure that they're safe. Laurel refuses to go when she finds out that her grandmother and mother are staying. They convince Laurel to go to Jackson with her father by telling her that if the storm gets bad they'll go in Walmart for safety. New reaches Laurel that both her mohermother and grandmother had died in

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    Sounds intresting

    I must read it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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