Cold War anxieties play out in a sensitively told story set during the Cuban missile crisis in the 1960s, perfect for fans of Gary Schmidt and Kristin Levine.
Joanna can’t get over how her brother broke his promise to never leave like their dad did. Sam is thousands of miles away on a navy ship, and no matter how often he sends letters, Joanna refuses to write back. When she makes a promise, she keeps it.
But then President Kennedy comes on TV with frightening news about Soviet missiles in Cuba—and that’s where Sam’s heading. Suddenly Joanna’s worries about being home alone, building up the courage to talk to a cute boy, and not being allowed to go to the first boy-girl party in her grade don’t seem so important. Maybe sometimes there are good reasons to break a promise.
The tense timeline of the Cuban missile crisis unfolds alongside a powerful, and ultimately hopeful, story about what it means to grow up in a world full of uncertainty.
Gayle Rosengren grew up in Chicago. Like Esther from What the Moon Said, she enjoyed school, was an avid reader, and loved dogs and horses. She attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where she majored in Creative Writing and was the… More about Gayle Rosengren
“A quietly tense story set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. . . . [Joanna] learns how to muster courage during a time of accelerated, unwanted change. Rosengren’s judicious use of details evokes a strong sense of the 1960s, and while some readers will already be aware of how history played out, they’ll find it easy to share Joanna’s feelings of nervousness, helplessness, and hope.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for What the Moon Said
“Rosengren’s depiction of the Great Depression from a child’s perspective rings true. . . . Sensitive and engaging.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The story triumphs in its small vignettes.” — School Library Journal
“Esther’s positive attitude offers a fine model for readers of this engaging historical fiction.” —Booklist