BN.com Gift Guide

Laugh with the Moon

( 7 )

Overview

Laugh with the Moon is on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List.

  Thirteen-year-old Clare Silver is stuck. Stuck in denial about her mother?s recent death. Stuck in the African jungle for sixty-four days without phone reception. Stuck with her father, a doctor who seems able to heal everyone but Clare.
Clare feels like a fish out of water at Mzanga Full Primary School, where she must learn a new language. Soon, though, she becomes immersed in her new surroundings and ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (38) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $5.69   
  • Used (27) from $1.99   
Laugh with the Moon

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

Laugh with the Moon is on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List.

  Thirteen-year-old Clare Silver is stuck. Stuck in denial about her mother’s recent death. Stuck in the African jungle for sixty-four days without phone reception. Stuck with her father, a doctor who seems able to heal everyone but Clare.
Clare feels like a fish out of water at Mzanga Full Primary School, where she must learn a new language. Soon, though, she becomes immersed in her new surroundings and impressed with her fellow students, who are crowded into a tiny space, working on the floor among roosters and centipedes.
   When Clare’s new friends take her on an outing to see the country, the trip goes horribly wrong, and Clare must face another heartbreak head-on. Only an orphan named Memory, who knows about love and loss, can teach Clare how to laugh with the moon.
   Told from an American girl’s perspective, this story about how death teaches us to live and how love endures through our memories will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With keen insight into culture and the psychology of grief, Burg (A Thousand Never Evers) crafts an atmospheric novel about 13-year-old Clare and her doctor father’s nine-week trip to Malawi. Clare chafes at leaving her friends (and technology) behind, and she is still struggling with her mother’s death eight months earlier. However, she is soon swept into a challenging but restorative adventure. When the headmaster at Clare’s school recruits her to teach English to 176 students, she finds new strength and confronts the difficulties, like a lack of books and other resources; her friends help her find ingenious solutions such as shaping letters of the alphabet from baked mud. Imaginary and dream scenes between Clare and her mother are uneven: though they sometimes ground the relationship and emotions, they can also interrupt the pacing of the narrative. The setting and cast emerge as real standouts, especially Clare’s friend Memory, who tells her, “Even the mourner must stop and laugh with the moon.” As this memorable heroine contends with loss, Burg balances tragedy with hope and resilience. Ages 8–12. Agent: Andrea Cascardi, Transatlantic Literary Agency. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Melding the colors of heartache and loss with painterly strokes, Burg creates a vivid work of art about a girl grieving for her recently deceased mother against a Third World backdrop. Clare is not speaking to her father. She has vowed never to speak to him again. Which could be tough, since the pair just touched down in Malawi. There, Clare finds herself struck by the contrast between American wealth and the relatively bare-bones existence of her new friends. Drowning in mourning and enraged at the emptiness of grief, Clare is a hurricane of early-adolescent emotions. Her anger toward her father crackles like lightning in the treetops. She finds purpose, though, in teaching English to the younger children, which leads her out of grief. Burg's imagery shimmers. "The girl talks to her mother in a language that sounds like fireworks, full of bursts and pops. She holds her hand over her mouth giggling.... She probably has so many minutes with her mother, she can't even count them." Her realization of the setting and appreciation for the Malawian people are so successful that they compensate for Clare's wallowing, which sometimes feels contrived. Ultimately, Burg's lyrical prose will make readers think about the common ground among peoples, despite inevitable disparities. (Fiction. 9-12)
From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly, May 14, 2012:
"The setting and cast emerge as real standouts, especially Clare’s friend Memory, who tells her, 'Even the mourner must stop and laugh with the moon.' As this memorable heroine contends with loss, Burg balances tragedy with hope and resilience."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, June 2012:
“This lyrical story will be consumed in one long sitting, but the characters will stay with readers for a very long time.

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2012:
"The novel is strongest in its presentation of loss and mourning; Clare’s emotions in dealing with her mother are raw, and the additional loss of Innocent brings many of those feelings back."

Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
Thirteen-year-old Clare Silver's mother has recently died. And, now her father, a doctor, has transported her, against her will, to Malawi, where he worked as a young man and where he is conducting medical research. Clare is so angry, about both her mother's death and her two-month exile from her suburban home and friends, including a possible boyfriend, in Brookline, Massachusetts, that she refuses to speak to him. Furthermore, when they arrive in Africa, Clare must learn to manage with mosquito netting, little hot water, and screaming monkeys. At Mzanga Full Primary School, a rugged environment with practically no materials—not even chairs, in some cases—and with a dangerous bully, she soon enough makes friends, particularly with Memory, who has lost both of her parents. With Memory's help and that of a mother-figure housekeeper whom her father employs, Clare becomes accustomed to the pasty food, to foregoing lunch, and to chickens meandering into the classroom. A school outing and the death of a baby, however, nearly undo her until she learns to take responsibility not only for herself but also for her schoolmates. Readers will learn a great deal about Malawi, where the author worked, from a sympathetic and positive perspective. In addition, although the setting is foreign, the characters are fully drawn and vividly believable. The plot is engaging and even suspenseful. And, the layered text offers multiple subtle themes for readers to discuss and absorb. This is a fine and meaningful book. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Thirteen-year-old Clare Silver is still wrapped up in her own personal tragedy when her father, a medical doctor, whisks her along on his journey to Africa as part of a two-month visit to work in a local clinic. While he relishes the smell of jasmine after a soaking rain, sleeping under a mosquito net, and reuniting with old friends, the only thing Clare sees in Malawi is isolation and loneliness. With no cell-phone reception and a new home that doesn't even keep out the rain, let alone local wildlife, Clare can't even text her friends to tell them how she feels like a prisoner in this strange land. Her first day at the Mzanga Full Primary School opens her eyes to daily life in this small country, and her new friend, Memory, helps her bridge the cultural gap. In this new world that first seemed devoid of all necessities like computers, cell phones, and department stores, Clare begins to learn the value of friendship and the wonderment of finding your place in the world. This is a heartfelt story of love and loss told through the eyes of an American girl who learns about true friendship and heartbreak at a school where students have few supplies but an abundance of understanding. When tragedy strikes again, it's Clare's African friends who help her find comfort and strength when sometimes all one can hope for is to laugh with the moon. This lyrical story will be consumed in one long sitting, but the characters will stay with readers for a very long time.—Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385734714
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 680,410
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Shana Burg

Many years ago, Shana Burg found herself in a Land Rover in the Malawian bush, investigating whether school children had basic supplies like pens, pencils and notebooks. Though she didn’t find much in the way of supplies in the schools, Shana did make many friends. Later, as an educator and public speaker, Shana shared her experience in Malawi with her American students. She wished she could take them to Africa. With this book, she’s doing just that.
   Shana Burg is the award-winning author of A Thousand Never Evers and lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and son.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

I press my nose against the airplane window and breathe faster, faster, more, more, more. I try to erase what's outside. In my mind, I beg for someone to help me. Help me! I want to yell. But you know, who would? Who could? Only Dad, of course, and flying here was his idea in the first place.

Branches slam against each other in the wind and rain. The jungle is so crowded. How can anything possibly grow in it? My eyes trace a thick vine twisting around and around an enormous tree trunk, desperately trying to choke the life out of it. Who will win: the vine or the tree? I don't like that vine. I don't like it one bit.

I breathe even faster, and by the time the plane jolts to a stop, I've covered the window with mist. Now I can't see outside, can't see where I'm going to be stuck for the next nine weeks. All I can do is watch my father pack up the medical report that he's been poring over ever since we switched planes a few hours ago. "Come on, honey," he says, as if he hasn't just torn me away from home, as if he hasn't made me leave all my friends and memories behind.

He tucks the medical report neatly inside his army-green traveler's backpack. I unbuckle my seat belt and stand. My heart thumps, quick and light, quick and light, never touching down for a full beat. While Dad checks the messages on his cell phone, there's a creak. Then a loud, long roar. I crouch and wipe off the window to look for the airplane racing down the runway, about to escape. But I don't see another plane, only forest-green, olive-green, green-gold. And rain, rain, rain.

A blast of heat fills the cabin. The month of January really is summer in this place. Under my sweater and jeans, tiny beads of sweat bubble up all over my skin. I take off my cotton scarf and stuff it into my backpack while that strange roar grows louder.

A dark-skinned woman stands in the row of seats in front of me, her head wrapped in a bright red cloth. A tall, thin girl stands beside her, a younger version of the woman. The girl talks to her mother in a language that sounds like fireworks, full of bursts and pops. She holds her hand over her mouth, giggling. I try not to look at her. She probably has so many minutes with her mother she can't even count them.

I grab the gold heart pendant hanging around my neck, feel the dent that I chewed right into the middle of it. Mom made it for me a few years ago when she took a jewelry design class at the center for adult education. Dad slips his phone into his pocket and gives me a squeeze around my shoulders. I pull away.

"How long are you going to keep up the silent treatment?" he asks.

I check my watch and adjust for the eight-hour time difference between Boston and here. I haven't spoken for the entire trip, not even during the layover in South Africa. That would put me at a grand total of twenty-six hours and thirty-two minutes, never mind that I was sleeping for at least eighteen of them. It's so impressive—maybe even a world record—that I actually consider sharing the news.

But I don't, because that would break my promise, and in my book, promises are not meant to be broken. Not promises fathers make to daughters, like "I'll take care of you" and "I always have your best interest at heart." And not promises daughters make to fathers, like "I will never speak to you until you take me back where I belong."

I follow Dad down the cramped aisle. The rumble grows louder and my breath snakes up my throat. Soon I'm at the mouth of the plane. I realize it's the crazy storm outside that's making such a racket. Cold raindrops prick me like needles. There isn't even a tunnel connecting the airplane to the airport.

A flight attendant stands by the cockpit. "Welcome to Malawi," she says, and smiles. I know that I should smile back. It's the right thing to do. But I can't. I doubt I'll ever smile again.

A bolt of lightning strikes the treetops. I'm thinking it's pretty dumb to stand on a metal staircase in an African storm. We could be killed.

But my father? He's another story! He inhales the slate-gray sky like it's full of jasmine, like the smell of this place is a total thrill. Then he clomps down the metal staircase to the runway. I mean, I'm sure he's clomping, but I can't hear his footsteps; I can't even see him very well, because the storm is that vicious, that wild.

When he reaches the runway, he turns to make sure that I'm following. But I'm not. I'm not going.

"Have a lovely day," the flight attendant says. "Thank you for flying Air Malawi."

Rain screams down from the sky. Lightning too. Here I am, five years old again, standing on the edge of the high diving board. I suck in my breath and squeeze my eyes shut. One, two, three! Then I do it. I run down the steps and wait to be taken to my death—too young and too suddenly—just like my mom.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I can't imagine being thirteen and losing my mother. I have had

    I can't imagine being thirteen and losing my mother. I have had many students who have had to go through this heart-rending situation. What made this story even more emotional was knowing that Clare's father pulled her from everything and everyone she knew and loved and moved her to Malawi for six months. Her father was excited to go back to a country he had worked in before. Clare had decided to give her dad the silent treatment for the entire six months. It's funny how meeting someone who has lost more than you have, and learning that there is always a silver lining if you look for it hard enough can help you heal and grow.

    Clare is stubborn, intelligent, artistic and very loving. She has let the pain of losing her mother guide her for too long. In Malawai she learns she has much to offer others as well as watching as others who have lost so much more give everything. This was not an easy book to read. It is a book I will put at the front of my class on the first day of school and recommend to all of my students. I am trying to create global minded students. My students may not be able to travel to Malawi or any other country less fortunate than we are here in the USA. Through books like this one they will learn so much about what it takes to truly give of yourself. They can learn that the simplest gesture can make a difference. The fact that the book is full of information and facts because the author has been to Malawi holds great weight with me. I loved the vocabulary throughout the book. It is something else my students will love.

    The book was so wonderfully written I could envision Clare's first encounter with a hippo and her shock at the school compared to her school back home. The author did a wonderful job of bringing the reader along with her to Malawi. I felt like I was a character walking beside Clare, Memory and Agnes. I will definitely read more by this author. I look for great books to recommend to my students and my parents for their children. This book is not just for middle schoolers or young adults. This is a book that even adults will enjoy. If you read no other book this year, this is the one you must read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Med den

    Med den

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

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Laugh with the moon

    I really liked this book. i would reecomendd it to anyone ages 10-13

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

    Posted June 10, 2013

    : )

    Amazing book!

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

    Posted May 22, 2013

    Wow!!!

    <3 it!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 26, 2012

    This is awesome

    This book is really good, I could not put it down until I finished it. It is very interesting and is now one of my personal favorites!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)