cover image Me (Moth)

Me (Moth)

Amber McBride. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-78036-2

Two years after a devastating car accident killed her family as they drove from New York to northern Virginia, aspiring dancer Moth, the Black granddaughter of a Hoodoo root worker, is still navigating the accident’s fallout, which includes a mark on her face “as crisp as the tip of a whip from jaw to eye.” Poignant free verse details her resignation to a “bland” existence in the suburbs, where she’s ignored by classmates and her aunt Jack, who has developed an alcohol reliance. When a new student—talented Navajo musician Sani—shows up in her junior homeroom class, Moth finds a kindred spirit whose similarly painful past and physically abusive stepfather compound his depression. Desperate for a change, Moth and Sani embark on a road trip out west to the Navajo Nation, where Sani’s biological father lives. As the two travel, visiting national landmarks that connect them to the ghosts of their ancestors, a tender love story unfolds, one that debut author McBride skillfully renders while covering serious topics such as grief and mental health, including suicidal ideation. Ages 12–up. Agent: Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Literary. (Aug.)