Alabama Moon

Alabama Moon - Watt Key This is a five star book for one reason: Moon. Watt Key has written something really special with his character Moon Blake. I read the synopsis of this book months ago and even had it recommended to me by a friend, but I didn't pick it up because while it sounded interesting, the plot didn't leap out at me.

There's really only one thing you need to know about the story: Moon's Pap has died and left him to fend for himself in the woods where they had always lived alone, survivialist style, with instructions to head for Alaska. The rest of the book is all Moon as he confronts the real world and navigates friendship, trouble and where he fits in, and he is fabulous. Moon is confused and angry at all the grown-ups trying to control his life now that his dad is gone and there's no one else to take him in-- ostensibly he has no family other than his deceased father. He knows so much about how to live by himself in the forest, and yet is so naive about how the world works.

I cried at the beginning when Moon's Pap dies and then laughed as Moon refuses to back down repeatedly, "whipping up" on multiple adults who underestimate him throughout the book. It's really a poignant story of loss and love and finding a sense of normalcy. There aren't that many truly unique characters out there, where you feel like the author gets it exactly right, but Moon is one. He sticks with you after the book is done. He's really something.