Alabama Moon

Watt Key, Author
Watt Key, Author . FSG $17 (240p) ISBN 978-0-374-30184-2
Reviewed on: 10/02/2006
Release date: 00/00/0000
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4281-3387-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4281-3392-1
Hardcover - 454 pages - 978-4-03-726790-2
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-8765-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4178-3119-7
Paperback - 298 pages - 978-0-312-38428-9
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-0-312-64480-2
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First-time author Key's absorbing survival tale features a 10-year-old hermit, who feels more at home among forest creatures than people. Raised in a primitive shelter deep in the Alabama woods, Moon Blake knows only two people: Pap, a Vietnam veteran holding a grudge against the government, and Mr. Abroscotto, the storekeeper in Gainsville who buys their vegetables and sells them provisions. After Pap dies, Moon fully intends to carry out his father's wishes by finding his way to Alaska, a place where "no one would find him" and "people could still make a living off trapping." But the authorities want to make Moon a ward of the state. During a harrowing cat-and-mouse game against mean-spirited Constable Sanders, Moon gets a taste of society, and he even makes friends during his brief stint at a boys' home, where he carries out an escape plan and brings two boys back to the forest with him. Over time, however, Moon begins to question his father's lifestyle and beliefs, especially when his friend Kit takes ill and is in need of medical attention. Besides offering adventure, the book provides a detailed account of lessons Moon's father has taught him on being self-sufficient. If Moon emerges as too sociable and articulate a character for someone who has grown up in an isolated environment, he remains likable; readers will admire his ability to outwit authority figures. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)

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