Shadow of the Red Moon

Shadow of the Red Moon

5.0 1
by Walter Dean Myers

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In this extraordinary fantasy novel from Newbery Honor winning author Walter Dean Myers, 15-year-old Jon leaves his home in Crystal City on a journey through the Wilderness, where shocking truths are revealed. See more details below

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In this extraordinary fantasy novel from Newbery Honor winning author Walter Dean Myers, 15-year-old Jon leaves his home in Crystal City on a journey through the Wilderness, where shocking truths are revealed.

Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Donald R. Gallo
We know Myers for the realism of Fallen Angels, the poetry of Brown Angels, and the nonfiction of Malcolm X. In his new novel he takes readers into a fantasy world of warring Fens and Okalians. Shadow of the Red Moon is the story of fifteen-year-old Jon, an Okalian. Jon is made to leave the safety of his family and the protection of the Crystal City to enter the Wilderness and find his way to the ancestral Ancient Land. His forced departure from home is the result of an attack by Fens, a tribe of children doomed by a plague to never become adults. In the Wilderness, Jon befriends two other Okalians, and the three of them survive attacks by Fens and wild dogs, rescue a black unicorn, and start to question the truth about much of what they have been taught. As they near the Ancient Land, the youngsters decide to help a wounded Fen girl, and, in the process, commit themselves to starting a new city where Fens and Okalians live together as one people.1995, Scholastic, 176 pp., Ages 12 up, $14.95. Reviewer: Richard F. Abrahamson
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Christopher Myers's haunting black and white illustrations effectively capture the feelings and experiences of the characters featured in this fantasy-survival tale written by his father, award winner Walter Dean Myers. The Okalians rely on storytelling to maintain the history of their people. Over the years they have overcome many obstacles to become a strong and great people. Having journeyed far, the Okalians built a crystal city as their refuge. When plague came, they closed their gates to the others-the Na'ans, the Kargs, and the Fens. The Fens became most profoundly affected by the plague, and they believe that their salvation lies in overtaking the crystal city. As the tale unfolds, Jon escapes through the city's secret tunnels and navigates the Wilderness by relying on descriptions of places contained in the stories he has heard throughout his life. Jon allies himself with Lin, and her brother Kyraaas and together they search for the Ancient Land. During this perilous journey they must overcome fear, hatred, racism, drugs, violence and their own self-doubts. Myers has woven strong characters, complete with human foibles, into situations that parallel human history in this engrossing tale. An excellent choice for the middle school reader.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-The Okalians have survived a meteor collision and a long exile from their homeland, and now face certain annihilation at the hands of the Fens, a group of marauding children. Jon, a 15-year-old Okalian, is sent by his parents into the Wilderness to return to the Ancient Land and restore their race to its former greatness. On his journey he teams up with a young girl, her brother, and a black unicorn. Using spare prose and lean characters, Myers masterfully creates a world in which adults are nearly nonexistent and children struggle to establish a life for themselves. They face endless dangers in their environment, including the temptation to escape reality. Forced to redefine a world gone wrong, they return to ancient traditions and values, and ultimately learn to see beyond human differences. YAs will enjoy the fantasy and adventure, while mature readers will recognize the story's vivid parallels with modern society. While this tale is narrated in gray and somber tones, in the end the meteor dust is settling, and the red moon offers a beam of hope.-Tim Rausch, Crescent View Middle School, Sandy, UT
Hazel Rochman
Part fable, part fantasy and survival adventure, this tells the story of 15-year-old Jon and a group of young people who are sent out from their besieged Crystal City to find their way through the Wilderness and past their dangerous enemies back to the Ancient Land to make a new start for their people. Their quest is your usual perilous adventure: they free a unicorn, run from a pack of blind dogs, resist the lure of a comfortable, drugged trap, bond with each other, and struggle over the mountains. The surprise is that they also bond with the enemy. In a beautiful, poignant ending, they discover that the enemy, whom they have been taught to fear as uncivilized marauders, is just like "us." Together the ragged bands of kids "make peace with food and with the weather and with each other." The problem is that the very vagueness of the characters, both friend and foe--though it suits the moral ending--makes it hard to care about the conflict in the course of the story. The art was not seen in galley, but the cover illustration of a child huddled in the wilderness is extraordinarily moving.

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Product Details

San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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