Good Moon Rising

Good Moon Rising

4.5 6
by Nancy Garden

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Lambda Literary Award winner Good Moon Rising is about two young women who fall in love while rehearsing a school play, realize they're gay, and resist a homophobic campaign against them. Good Moon Rising, both a New York Public Library Book for the Teenage and a Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, 'takes us into the dynamics of…  See more details below


Lambda Literary Award winner Good Moon Rising is about two young women who fall in love while rehearsing a school play, realize they're gay, and resist a homophobic campaign against them. Good Moon Rising, both a New York Public Library Book for the Teenage and a Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, 'takes us into the dynamics of homophobia" (Horn Book). 'Garden, who gave us one of the first honest, sensitive portrayals of two young women in love in the brilliant Anne On My Mind, Farrar, 1982, offers us author thought-provoking story of homosexual love."-Voya

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A lesbian romance takes center stage as a high school mounts a production of The Crucible in this sensitive if not altogether convincing drama. Jan begins her senior year with her confidence primed from years of starring roles and a stint in summer stock; she is stunned when a new girl, Kerry, gets the lead in the play and she herself is made the assistant to Mrs. Nicholson, the drama teacher. Her anger and jealousy evaporate quickly as she and Kerry get to know each other and discover a powerful mutual attraction. And when Mrs. Nicholson withdraws due to grave illness, Jan realizes the teacher has been preparing her to step in as director. Trouble arises in the form of Kent, the male lead, who is unaccountably homophobic and who appropriates the anti-witch rhetoric of Crucible characters to start a campaign against Jan and Kerry. Garden's descriptions of teenagers confronting their gay sexuality are just as affecting and candid here as in her Annie on My Mind, but the book as a whole is less successful. The author takes shortcuts in characterizing the supporting cast, rendering them as fairly predictable types rather than individuals: the faithful friend, the quaint maiden aunt, the flamboyant retired actress. Kent in particular is underdeveloped; as a result, parallels between the hysterical witch-hunting of the play and Kent's anti-gay malice seem programmatic rather than provocative. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
The ALAN Review - Joan F. Kaywell
Right-wing conservative censors will go crazy with this book, but it is definitely worth the challenge! There is no foul language, no explicit sex, no anti-parent propaganda, and no violence. This is, however, a beautiful story of love between two adolescent girls who meet and become romantically involved while rehearsing for their school play - Arthur Miller's The Crucible. While Jan and Kerry, each other's first, struggle to go slowly with their feelings, "Proctor" ironically is quick to play judge and jury. Using mostly their director's words to describe her reaction to the dress rehearsal, I think I can best describe the power this book had on me: Thank you...It is a beautiful novel, sad and noble -such cruel misunderstandings, such evil, such courage, such ignorance - and you (Nancy Garden) made it sing; you found it all, and showed all that's in it, and I am so very proud. Good Moon Rising is every bit as good, if not better than, Garden's Annie on My Mind, an ALA best of the Best Books for Young Adults, which also addresses lesbian love.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 UpJan is a high school senior, just back from summer stock and hoping for the role of Elizabeth in the school production of The Crucible. When a new student named Kerry gets the part, Jan's larger-than-life mentor, Mrs. Nicholson, assigns Jan to be stage manager instead. Then, as stand-in director when Mrs. Nicholson falls ill, Jan coaches Kerry. Eventually, the two realize that they are sexually attracted to one another. Other cast members notice, too. Some harass them, threatening the success of the play; others think it's nobody's business. Told in third-person narrative, this is a straightforward story of teen romance with a `90s twist. It gets off to a slow start, but tension builds as the young women receive increasingly disturbing hate messages. They finally "come out," affirming their feelings and undercutting the clique that had targeted them. Allusion to Salem witch hunts of the 17th century is obvious but effective, and the novel is well paced. Some may call this story a rehash of Garden's Annie on My Mind (Farrar, 1992), but it's more of an update. Although M.E. Kerr's Deliver Us from Evie (HarperCollins, 1994) is stronger, Good Moon Rising will find grateful readers among some of the same kids who appreciated that book.Claudia Morrow, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Following a successful stint in summer stock, Jan fully expects her drama teacher, Mrs. Nicholson, to give her the best part in the school play, The Crucible. After auditions, however, a new girl gets the role. Hurt though she is, Jan admits that Kerry is perfect for the part and reluctantly accepts the job of stage manager. Jan works closely with all the cast members, including the arrogant male lead, Kent. She also coaches Kerry, finding herself more and more attracted to her. The feeling is reciprocal, and it isn't long before Jan and Kerry are in love, a fact they attempt to keep secret. Kent, however, who harbors a dislike of Jan, launches a vicious campaign of rumor and innuendo, first among the cast and then throughout the school. Meanwhile, Mrs. Nicholson succumbs by degrees to cancer, leaving Jan to direct the play, which further infuriates Kent. What opened as a tender tale becomes a story of the outrages heaped on any teenager suspected of being different, although Kent's deep, almost pathological hatred, chalked up much later to homophobia, is never adequately explained in the early pages. This is not Annie on My Mind (1982) revisited, but it covers similar territory.

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Product Details

iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Good Moon Rising 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so much better than 'Annie..' I loved the ending, becuase it did not end stupid or tragically. The author put less 'between the lines' stuff and more details. Maybe that is how gay fiction changed over the years. I wonder if there is a sequil?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book of Nancy Garden's I read and it was spell binding. I was completely engulfed from the first minute. It opened my eyes and brought about a profound change in my thinking. Jan and Kerry, the two young girls who fall in love, face up to the horrible cruelty of the kids in their school and, in the end, decide that as long as they have one another they can face any future. I was taken completely by this book. Nancy Garden has penned a masterpiece. It allows the reader to see what it is like to be young and gay and the fear of coming out to the world, your families and all those you encounter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great! I totally loved it. Books like this one are just so helpful and understanding. I could really relate to the characters and how they felt. It made me feel that it was OK to be... um, weeelll... you probably have an idea about what I was about to say, right? But, of course, this is coming from an almost 14 year old. What do I know about things being right or wrong? : )
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read dealing with GBLT issues. I loved it so much! I also loved Annie on My Mind, but this is my favorite! I can't thank Nancy Garden enough for writing them!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I also agree that it wasnt quite as good as annie on my mind but it was really a great book overall i think more people should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was not as great as Annie on my Mind but it was very good. I reccomend this book to anyone who can relate to this or someone who likes to read. I really enjoyed reading it.