During the entire time I spent reading THAT GIRL LUCY MOON, I kept having the feeling that Lucy, the main character, was a girl who reminded me of someone else. Some other young girl that I'd read about in another book; someone similar, and yet different. Finally, it came to me. Lucy Moon reminds me of that wonderful free spirit, Stargirl Caraway, from Jerry Spinelli's award-winning young adult novel, STARGIRL. Believe me, this isn't a bad thing. If you've read STARGIRL, you'll know what I mean. If you haven't, that's okay, because you're about to get a big does of free spirit-ism, activism, elitism, and a whole bunch of other -ism's when you dive into your copy of THAT GIRL LUCY MOON.
Having just started middle school, Lucy quickly realizes that she's stepped foot on another planet--and that all of her schoolmates have suddenly turned into hormone-driven, soul-spitting aliens. Up until now, Lucy has always been a girl who has known her place in the world, has known her purpose and the things that drive her. She's always known that her parents love her (her mother, the equally free spirited artist, and her father, who can sometimes be distant), that it's her destiny to fight for those who can't fight for themselves, and that her best friend, Zoe, will always be by her side.
Lucy's defense of her green and yellow hemp hat is soon forgotten, though, when two kids from her school are arrested for sledding on Wiggins Hill. When the owner of said hill, Miss Ilene Viola Wiggins, goes so far as to put a fence up around the best sledding place in town, some type of action needs to be taken. So begins Lucy's new pursuit--getting her fellow classmates, and the entire town, to see that what Miss Wiggins is doing is wrong. But this activism doesn't immediately win her any friends; she is, in fact, ostracized by her school friends, threatened by the principal, and, in general, tormented because of her beliefs.
When you add in that Lucy's mother has somehow turned a picture-taking trip into a vacation from parenting, and that her dad doesn't seem to know what to do about it, what you end up with is an adolescent girl who has a lot on her shoulders. The joy of THAT GIRL LUCY MOON isn't just that it's a delightful coming of age story, or even that the "fight" against Miss Wiggins is a lesson in activism. The true gem, the delight that makes THAT GIRL LUCY MOON such a wonderful novel, is the very real feelings of hope and discouragement that mingle inside of the free spirit that is Lucy. Although similar to the aforementioned Stargirl, Lucy is a girl unlike any other you'll ever read about. For that alone you need to pick up a copy of THAT GIRL LUCY MOON, and find out for yourself just what type of heroine Lucy is. You might even realize that, inside of all of us, is that same hope mixed with discouragement that makes us human.
*Gold Star Award Winner!show more