Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Alabama Moon

Alabama Moon

Fall 2006 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Watt Key
ISBN: 0-374-30184-0
Hardcover Price: $17.00
In the piney woods of south Alabama, ten-year-old Moon Blake has been raised by his survivalist father, a paranoid Viet Nam veteran. When his father dies, Moon buries him beside his mother, who had softened their harsh existence while she lived. Not long before he died, Moon's father told him to write him letters after his death—and if Moon burned the letters, the messages would reach him. Pap called these “smoke letters.” He also told him to go to Alaska where there were other survivalists—without giving him any money or advice to carry out the directive.

With a wonderful villain and touches of distinctive humor, the author takes his wiry, tough, goodhearted hero through a residence in a boys' “home,” a true friendship, assorted escapes and into a happy ending. The “smoke letters” lend poignancy to this saga of a boy who considers the bed and food in a jail to be the lap of luxury. This debut novel is absolutely first-rate.

Kemie Nix   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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