Diving for the Moon

Diving for the Moon

5.0 1
by Lee F. Bantle

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Impressively fresh dialogue and spare yet keenly visual description distinguish this portrait of Bird and Josh, best friends since infancy. For both, the months before they enter seventh grade are a time of monumental change despite the stability of their surroundings, the Minnesota lake where their families spend every summer. Bird's mother announces that she is pregnant with a second child, a girl like Bird. Josh, a hemophiliac, tells Bird that he is HIV-positive. Josh's bout with pneumonia, Bird's dilemma about whether she should switch schools so that Josh won't have to face a new school alone and her realization that their relationship is blooming into something more than friendship are some of the tangles in the girl's bittersweet summer. Bantle steers clear of melodrama as his likable characters sort through typical preadolescent quandaries-and try to come to terms with an overwhelmingly sad situation. A perceptive first novel. Ages 9-12. (June)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Carolina Birdsong goes through a lot the summer after sixth grade-she finds out that her best friend, Josh, a hemophiliac, is HIV-positive; gets her first period; wonders what it means to be in love; and learns that her mother is pregnant. The complexity of friendship, however-balancing the ups and downs, responsibilities, and private struggles-is the center of the story. Josh and Bird come to life as they spend their days swimming and fishing on a Minnesota lake, and Bantle really captures the anxiety inherent in the situation. When Josh is hospitalized for pneumonia, readers feel his fear of dying and Bird's agony as she waits for news. She talks to adults about AIDS, but no one has any easy answers. It's in each other that the pals find comfort-in sharing simple pleasures like quirky favorite foods and just spending time together. Bantle's style isn't seamless-there are some rough patches that don't ring true, especially involving the secondary characters. Also, his purpose in telling the story is always fairly clear. Diving for the Moon is no Bridge to Terabithia, but it's still special and moving-and it seems like a blessing when the book ends with Josh feeling healthy, courageous, and happy, rather than with his tragic demise. A novel about accepting one's aloneness in facing mortality, it's also about living life to the fullest and the importance of true friends.-Vanessa Elder, School Library Journal
Frances Bradburn
Innocence and fun drain from Caroline (Bird) Birdsong's prejunior high summer when she learns that Josh, her best friend, is HIV-positive. The story reveals Josh's steady, downward slide from HIV to AIDS--his gradual depletion of energy, his first hospitalization, his subtle, insidious dependence upon Bird. It also shows the guilt that the healthy Bird feels as she realizes that she must choose to go on living despite Josh's illness. Both Josh's and Bird's parents are supportive and very human; Bird even summers with her teacher father while her pregnant lawyer mother pops in and out for weekends. Bird slowly begins to realize that her relationship with Josh could develop into something more mature, and the "sense of loss felt when both she and the reader realize that this will never happen is tangible. Yet the book is filled with hope: Bird's baby sister will be born soon, Josh seems healthy again, school is about to start. More than a story about AIDS, this is a story about growing up, about meeting the challenges of new schools and new situations, and about the survival of friendship, a friendship more precious because of its finite nature.

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.77(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.77(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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Diving for the Moon 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book was great. I personally loved it. I recomend this book to a group of 9-12 years old.