Posted by: Ms. Matson | June 30, 2009

That Girl Lucy Moon

That Girl Lucy Moon lucy moon
Amy Timberlake
New York: Hyperion, 2006
Genre: Children’s realistic fiction
Interest level: Middle grades
AR level: 5.3

That Girl Lucy Moon is an unremarkable attempt at the typical adolescent growing pains novel.  The plot is muttled.  For the first quarter of the book I couldn’t figure out what the book was supposed to be about – what is the main plot?  Is this about Lucy learning to navigate middle school?  Is this about dealing with her mom’s absence?  About just plain growing up?  What?  It is only after finishing the book that I can say, “Oh, that’s what it was supposed to be about.”  I see what the author was trying to do, to create.  Lucy Moon is supposed to be about a girl who enters junior high and suddenly isn’t sure of who she is, because the girl she was in elementary school isn’t succeeding very well in a sea of hormones. This is standard plot line in young adult novels and is often leads to wonderfully insighful stories of surviving adolescence.  Lucy Moon is unfortunately no such novel.

The characters are bland and stereotypical.  A quirky, somewhat childish heroine and her more mature best friend.  The best character development was seen in Lucy’s father, as her realized he had to take an active parental role with her mother MIA.  There was not sufficient reason for the coldhearted and subjective judgement of the Principal, the weird counselor lady, and the Youth Action coordinator toward Lucy.  It was too contrived and obvious a device in children’s and young adult books – mean adults unjustly punish the hero/ine.  The budding romance between Lucy and Sam was completely unnecessary and did nothing to further the plot.  It would have been more plausible had there been some background to their relationship beyond the interview about the arrested sledders.  Just because the main characters are in junior high does not mean there has to be romance.

The ending is too happy and wrapped up.  Mom comes home and apologized and all is well, end of story.  No.  A mom cannot just waltz in like that after a four month absence.  That Girl Lucy Moon is a book I’ll pass on recommending to others.


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