Thanks to her superstitious mother, Esther knows some tricks for avoiding bad luck: toss salt over your left shoulder, never button your shirt crooked, and avoid black cats. But even luck can't keep her family safe from the Great Depression. When Pa loses his job, Esther's family leaves their comfy Chicago life behind for a farm in Wisconsin.
Living on a farm comes with lots of hard work, but that means there are plenty of opportunities for Esther to show her mother how helpful she can be. She loves all of the farm animals (except the mean geese) and even better makes a fast friend in lively Bethany. But then Ma sees a sign that Esther just knows is wrong. If believing a superstition makes you miserable, how can that be good luck?
Debut author Gayle Rosengren brings the past to life in this extraordinary, hopeful story.
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
“Rosengren’s depiction of the Great Depression from a child’s perspective rings true . . . Sensitive and engaging." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“It’s easy to root for Esther, who makes the most of each day, wants little, and gives much.“ —Publishers Weekly
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a touching, beautifully written portrait of a young girl and her sometimes difficult relationship with her mother, set against a perfectly-rendered 1930's backdrop. Readers will easily identify and bond with Esther as she gives up the comforts of city life for new adventures on a farm in Wisconsin and beyond. I would love to read a sequel!
Gayle Rosengren’s tender story of a depression-era girl longing for the love and acceptance of her mother is both heart-wrenching and hopeful. After Esther’s father loses his job, the family must move from Chicago to a Wisconsin farm. As if enduring harsh conditions wasn’t difficult enough, Esther’s superstitious mother throws away her beloved doll and forbids Esther from seeing her only friend. Based on true incidents in the author’s life, WHAT THE MOON SAID is a story of a family needing to endure, forgive and adjust. Suitable for the classroom, especially fourth and fifth grades.
"What the Moon Said" (which I have read twice) is an absolutely terrific book, with one of the best main characters, vibrant & lovable Esther, in recent Middle Grade literature. And so skillfully written, with just the right voice for someone of Esther's age, a perfect structure (flows seamlessly from scene to scene, chapter to chapter), and beautiful use of language. A great mother-daughter relationship book. Also, because it is written so well and at an age-appropriate level for Middle Grade minds, would be a terrific "read out-loud" book for home or the classroom. And a fun read for adults, too.