Cheshire Moon

Cheshire Moon

3.0 3
by Nancy Butts

Miranda is deaf and her closest friend Timothy has disappeared at sea. Without him, communication is difficult, often embarrassing, sometimes impossible. Miranda is left alone, alienated, and unsure of herself. Thrown into the company of Boone, a neighbor who helps her aunt keep up the yard, Miranda struggles with her loyalty to Timothy and her desperate need for


Miranda is deaf and her closest friend Timothy has disappeared at sea. Without him, communication is difficult, often embarrassing, sometimes impossible. Miranda is left alone, alienated, and unsure of herself. Thrown into the company of Boone, a neighbor who helps her aunt keep up the yard, Miranda struggles with her loyalty to Timothy and her desperate need for someone who accepts her on her own terms, as Timothy did. When she and Boone discover they are having the same dreams about a mysterious island and an even more mysterious presence, Miranda must choose between the ideal world Timothy represented and the confusion and pain of the hearing world, opening herself to the risky, awkward relationships that it offers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Still aching over her cousin Timothy's death and furious at her parents' insistence that she speak rather than sign, a deaf 13-year-old named Miranda expects an unfulfilling summer at her aunt's house in Maine. This seemingly familiar summer-in-New-England odyssey is enhanced by debut author Butts's deft exploration of Miranda's irritable isolation and her prickly friendship with Boone, a local boy. The plot turns mystical when both teens start having identical dreams about Timothy and a mysterious island. If they're only dreams, why do the teens wake to sand and shells in their beds? "Dreams have a way of coming real on Summerhaven," intones shopkeeper Mr. Leach, attributing the dreams to the smiling face of the full "Cheshire" moon. "Didn't say they come true.... Said they come real." When Miranda is impelled to canoe across the windswept bay in the middle of the night toward a Brigadoon-like island that arises out of the mist, Boone must risk his life to head off disaster. The author has a sharp ear for dialogue and shows equal perception in observing Miranda's deafness. But with the confusing combination of reality and dreams, it's hard for readers to know when they should take stated dangers seriously. Even magical events must possess their own logic and continuity; although promising, this story breaches that caveat. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Twelve-year-old Miranda knows that this summer with her Aunt Kit on the island of Summerhaven is going to be a difficult one. Her cousin Timothy died a few months ago when his canoe was swept out of the cove by the rough tide. Timothy and Miranda were best friends, communicating so well that her deafness did not seem to be an obstacle. In her grief Miranda wants to withdraw into her own world and stop communicating with the hearing world around her. Aunt Kit can't sign as well as Timothy, and Boone, an aspiring artist who helps Aunt Kit around the farm, can't sign at all. Summerhaven has long had a legend of dreams becoming real during the cheshire moon, appearing as a smile in the nighttime sky. When Boone and Miranda begin having the same mysterious dream, they discover that there may be more significance to this dream than mere legend. Young deaf readers will relate to Miranda's feelings, while hearing readers will learn about a deaf person's frustration in living in a hearing world. All will enjoy this well-written, emotional story.
VOYA - Mary Hedge
Miranda, a twelve-year-old hearing-impaired girl, goes to the island of Summerhaven in Maine to spend the summer with Aunt Kit as usual. However, this is the first summer her cousin and best friend Timothy, who was killed in a canoeing accident, won't be there. In the past year, Miranda has become more withdrawn and obstinate. She meets Boone, a new fourteen-year-old boy on the island who is Kit's helper. Boone is also having problems with his life, and both have the same dreams about Timothy. They learn about the old legend that says that when there is a Cheshire moon over Summerhaven, dreams become real. Both try to find an island, now sunken, which has appeared in their dreams. Miranda finds it and Timothy, but chooses to abandon him in order to rescue Boone who has almost drowned. The story then skips the rest of the summer and ends with a happier and more mature Miranda on her birthday in August. This fantasy comes very close to being realistic fiction. Even though Miranda and Boone are not average young adults, they have emotions and needs with which everyone can identify. The pace picks up as the book turns into a suspense novel when they try to find the sunken island. The outcome is satisfying. Readers who don't know what a Cheshire moon is will be able to figure it out from the conversation at the end of the third chapter. The author is a journalist who has also worked with hearing-impaired children. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Most anyone would be apprehensive about returning to an aunt's idyllic summer home on an island in Penobscot Bay after a favorite cousin is lost at sea. Miranda has more difficulty than most expressing her feelings. She is profoundly hearing impaired, and Timothy was one of the few close friends with whom her disability did not prevent fluent communication. Communication, rather than his mysterious disappearance, becomes central to this story. Torn between her desire to use sign language and her parents' and teachers' insistence on oral speech, Miranda finds herself retreating from the hearing world. Her feelings of isolation will speak loudly to all readers. Assorted characters add color. Mr. Leach, a mysterious shop owner, tells Miranda about the island's myth tied to the occasional appearance of a "Cheshire moon." He warns her that when the moon smiles, folks get pretty strange dreams. Aunt Kit seems rather the typical oblivious parent figure. Boone, a responsible teen employed by Aunt Kit for odd jobs, provides the lure of pulling Miranda back into the real world. The chemistry between Boone and Miranda sizzles. He too, has the recurring dreams that match Miranda's nocturnal adventures. The fantasy elements of Summerhaven, a place "haunted by dreams, not ghosts" where Native Americans send the sick for curative visions, may be harder for readers to buy. What exactly happened to Timothy? Loose ends weaken interesting premises.-Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO

Product Details

Highlights Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
5.85(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Nancy Butts is an award-winning journalist and the author of the novel Cheshire Moon. She lives in Barnesville, Georgia.

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Cheshire Moon 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All you're doing is making fun of someone who was brave enough to let people read her work and bringing her ratings down. How do you think she feels about that?
soccerchic7 More than 1 year ago
The last name of tis lady is butts...