Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Review: Mooncalf by Linda L. Zern

Publication Date: November 9, 2013
Publisher: LinWood House Publishing
Pages: 178

Book Description:
Over Olympia and Leah's heads, Americans race the Russians to the moon; on their television sets young men fight and struggle in the mud of Viet Nam; and America holds its breath between heartbreaking tragedies.

But on Miss Brinker's school bus, in the seat with the rip in the green plastic, Olympia and Leah fall in love, the way children do: immediately, completely, and without knowing or caring why they shouldn't. Olympia Crooms, with her happy hair, and Leah Breck, with her silly red dog, are two smart girls.

Olympia's father works other men's orange groves in rural Central Florida and tells his daughter that school is the best way to reach for the stars. Leah's father moves his family from the Space Coast to the country where she and her brother can climb orange trees, imagine lions in the tall grass, and learn to feed baby cows milk from a bottle.

At Evegan Elementary, two smart girls find each other and have to decide if they will learn the hardest lessons of all: the false traditions of their fathers.

My Thoughts:
Where do I begin? This book was amazing! I didn't know what to expect with this book. You know, with self published authors it's a hit or miss. Sometimes you get lucky and come across some AWESOME books and sometimes you just want to smile and say, "keep at it, you'll get it one day" well, this book GOT IT.

There is SO much imagery, metaphors, fore shadowing, symbols, decretive designs and patterns written throughout this entire book! It's a TINY book, but the writing was beautiful.

At first I couldn't get the gist of what this book was really about, all I knew was that it was a short story about 2 girls and their friendship, one girl being black and the other being white; during a time of great change in history. But this book is more than that, it's about growing up, facing the truth, figuring out what is right and what is wrong, stepping away from tradition and seeing what's REALLY beneath the surface of a person, white or black, looking beyond what is fed to us and coming to our own conclusions.

As I was reading it and enjoying the beautiful writing and all that mentioned above I knew this was going to be a 4 star rating book, it was just that good. But let me tell you, it was the last few pages, where the author took what she wanted you to understand and drove it home with such force I was reeling from the impact when it was all said and done, because it was so unexpected! I knew something had to happen, you could see it, you could feel that something was going to happen that something needed to happen and then it did and you thought, "oh ok, see there you go, how sweet" and yet you THINK that it's over and then....WHEM! the author throws a curve grenade that you weren't expecting that rips your heart out and you watch it and feel the ache and the pain. And THAT is what made me give it the full 5 star rating it completely deserved.

Trust me, I am NOT just saying this nice words to be nice. I was truly impressed by how, for such a short book, it was well written and I would recommend this book to bookclubs and people of ALL ages!

Sexual Content: none
Language: mild
Drugs/Alcohol: none
Violence: mild

Meet the Author

Linda L. Zern lives, works, and dreams in Central Florida. Mooncalf is a work of juvenile fiction for middle graders and has been described as "The Help" for children. Raised in the segregated south, Ms. Zern writes with a quiet authority of a time when America looked to the moon for its future and at bigotry and racism for its past. Her award winning humor essays have been published at Note: MOONCALF honored by the Space Coast Writers' Guild, named one of five FINALISTS for the Don Argo Award at the Cocoa Beach Writers' Conference.

Check her out on:
Twitter: @LindaLZern