My interest in ancient history, mystery, legends, and my love of travel led to The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in my exciting children’s adventure series—Chronicles of the Stone. Book 2: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur continues the adventure. Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper is now available. I hope you enjoy my book reviews and news! Visit www.chroniclesofthestone.com for more about my MG book series!
Moths, mystery, and growing up are the
focus of Stranger Moon. Twelve-year-old Gaia (and she hates her name!) is not
your typical tweenager. Anyone who can recite screeds of information about
moths, and in particular the elusive Luna moth, just has to be labeled ‘nerd.’
Gaia finds refuge in her love of unusual insects and her little gang of equally
geeky friends. Her dad is glued to his computer, her mom died when she was
little, and she is bullied by the ghastly duo, ‘The Emmas,’ at school. Could
life get any worse? The night she and her friends go on a moth hunt, they find
a bug-eating, scary wild woman living in the woods, in an abandoned ice cream
van. They spend the summer spying on her, as they investigate her history, as
well as defending their tree house from invasion by the Emmas. They discover
the identity of the crazy lady, and must decide if they should use the
information to exact revenge on Gaia’s worst enemy.
Female Luna moth
This book is so much more than a story
about kids growing up. Gaia and her friends display typical tweenager
idiosyncrasies as the author taps right into what makes a tween tick. Each
character is well drawn and believable. As the story unfolds, the gang find
themselves tested on several levels. They need to learn friendship, compassion,
and basic kindness: to boring Leonard with his yo-yo and his crippled hand, and
to the mad woman herself. The ultimate challenge comes with how they deal with
the vital information about the woman’s identity. Gaia’s strained relationship
with her emotionally distant father also changes, bringing some interesting
revelations. I loved the tone of thinking that author Heather Zydeck instils in
Gaia’s inner narrative. As in most tween lives, everything is Dramatic and
Tragic, with some Big Words to enhance the seriousness of it all. I laughed
aloud at various points.
Male Luna moth
The fragile and sometimes uncertain life
cycle of the Luna moth resembles the rite-of-passage that Gaia and some of the
other characters experience. The completion of the cycle offers redemption, understanding,
and acceptance as they move onto a happier level. There are moments of great
sensitivity as Gaia tries to understand life and people, and wrestles with
conflicting emotions and ideas. A sensitive and humorous look at the angst and
conflicts of tweenagers and their issues. The author impressed me with her
perception and insight. I found the resolution and tying up of loose threads a
little rushed at the end. However, a great book for tweens, and for parents to
learn how tweens think. Highly recommended.
First reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers'