cover image Listen to the Moon

Listen to the Moon

Michael Morpurgo. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-04204-0

Morpurgo (War Horse) returns to a WWI setting with an emotional tale of wreck and recovery. The year is 1915. The Scilly Isles, north of Cornwall, are somewhat sheltered from the fighting that rages on the continent, but not completely. Alfie Wheatcroft and his father find a girl stranded on the isolated island of St. Helen's%E2%80%94she is unable to speak, on the edge of death, and wrapped in a blanket labeled "Wilhelm." Alfie and his family take her in, hoping to help her regain her speech, mind, and memories. The community, however, worries that she might be a German%E2%80%94possibly a spy, or just an enemy. In fact, "Lucy's" story is longer, stranger, and more traumatic than they could imagine, and she has good reason for her amnesia, elective mutism, and desperate fear of the water. A framing device, built around the research of Lucy's future grandson, allows Morpurgo to shift among multiple narrators as he unspools the mystery of where she came from. Along the way, Morpurgo offers powerful descriptions of shipwreck, mass drowning, and devastation, as well as healing and growth. Ages 10%E2%80%9314. (Oct.)