Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beneath a Meth Moon-Jacqueline Woodson

Beneath a Meth Moon

Jacqueline Woodson

Nancy Paulsen/Penguin, Feb 2 2012, $16.99

ISBN: 9780399252501

Fifteen year old Laurel is filled with remorse as she feels she failed her loved one especially when she turned to meth to numb the pain of death. Having kicked the habit, encouraged by her BFF Kaylee who she let down, she writes an elegy to cleanse her soul and hopefully regain her life. Her downward spiral began when Hurricane Katrina killed her mother and grandmother who remained in the family house when the storm swamped New Orleans.

Her father, her younger brother Jesse Jr. and Laurel obtain temporary shelter in Jackson, Mississippi before moving to Galilee, Iowa in order to start over. Laurel seems to adapt well as she becomes BFF with Kaylee, becomes a cheerleader and dates basketball team captain T-Boom. Still the teen grieves her matriarchal losses; so T-Boom introduces her to “the moon,” which numbs the depression. However, she soon needs more and more moon until she becomes an addict begging people for loose change on the city streets.

This is a great tweener-teen cautionary tale that makes a powerful case that Beneath A Meth Moon the addicting drug takes over your mind and body as you only live for more meth. Laurel’s observations of going to hell and back (she is writing the elegy so she obviously has survived her self-inflicted ordeal) are brilliant as her recollections are dark, choppy and filled with memory gaps. Jacqueline Woodson provides a powerful warning to her tween-teen audience that meth may allow you a moon walk or two but will incarcerate you with a desperate need for more.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: