cover image All Four Quarters of the Moon

All Four Quarters of the Moon

Shirley Marr. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8886-1

An 11-year-old moving from Singapore to Australia finds normalcy in sisterhood within Marr’s (A Glasshouse of Stars) lyrical, Chinese-folktale-twined novel. Finding “the people and the atmosphere and the trees and the space” wildly different in her new home, and trying to fit in at school, Peijing Guo longs for the assurance of established friendships and celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival with homemade mooncakes, an enduring family custom. Her traditional family is having no easier time adjusting: Ma Ma seldom leaves the house, Ba Ba must take on solo parenting, Ah Ma’s failing memory causes concern, and five-year-old Biju depends on her sister now more than ever. Amid these adjustments and others, Peijing and Biju’s Little World—a miniature crafted universe of paper animals, natural elements, and a red barn in an instant-noodle box—provides comfort and a physical opportunity for them to rebuild. Gentle, observational prose carries the novel’s intentionally paced events, folk tale references, organic character growth, and a heartening message of embracing change and impermanence. Ages 8–12. Agent: Gemma Cooper, Bent Agency. (July)