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Alabama Moon by Watt Key

Reviewed by Becky Laney

Moon Blake, a.k.a. “Alabama Moon,” is a ten year old boy who bears more weight on his shoulders than any child should ever have to endure. Raised in the forest by a father of questionable mental health, Moon knows more about nature and living off the land than almost anyone. But when his father dies due to complications from a broken leg--he refuses to have Moon seek help from the ‘outside’ world--Moon learns that what he knows about deers, snakes, rabbits, and squirrels won’t help him when it comes to surviving in human society. And human society seems to be a fate Moon can’t outrun as more people become aware of his existence. How can the state allow a ten-year-old-boy to run wild in the forest without proper care and schooling? But can a boy who has only been taught to mistrust and hate ever learn to trust and love other humans or is he destined to be a wondering loner like his father? His father’s dying words spoke to him of his dream that Moon would be able to make his way to Alaska and live free and strong with others ‘of his kind.’ As Moon struggles between awakening dreams of his own--friendship, love, and companionship with his peers-- and his father’s dying request, the boy becomes a strong and confident young man finally free to make his own decisions and merge his two realities.

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