This action packed adventure set in rural Alabama revolves around Moon, a ten-year-old boy who has lived his entire life living off the land in the forest with his father, a Vietnam Veteran survivalist, who dislikes rules and distrusts the government. After his father dies from a broken leg, refusing to see a doctor, Moon is left on his own. Before his father died, he told Moon to go to Alaska so Moon sets out to do this, but folks have different ideas about what is right for Moon. When Moon makes his first friend, tastes his first sweet roll and begs to stay in jail saying it has the, “best bed he ever had”, he begins to wonder if everything his father told him was right. This first time novel by author Watt Key left a memorable character in Moon that will not easily be forgotten! Recommended by: Kimberly Andersen, West Indianapolis Library
You get a real sense of what it is to live off the land in this book. The author, Watt Key, lived for 14 days in an Alabama swamp as part of a school project so he knows what he’s talking about. This experience eventually lead to Mr. Key writing this story. You can read about what he really experienced as a boy in the woods online and you can also watch a slide show. The description and pictures of some of his swamp dinners, including cottonmouth snake and armadillo, just go to show you what a person will eat when really, really hungry! Author: Watt Key
An Alabama Moon movie is coming, althought I don’t know when. Here is a video clip about the premiere on September 27, 2009.
A true story. It’s 1948 during the Berlin Airlift. Pilots, who three years earlier were bombing Berlin, are now in the business of saving Berliners from a slow, wintry starvation. One of those pilots is Lt. Gail Halvorsen. In addition to his deliveries of flour and coal, he parachutes Hershey Bars to the watching children. These children have never tasted candy. Halvorsen’s kindness is a hit. He receives fan mail, and in one letter, a child named Mercedes asks the “Chocolate Pilot” to please drop some candy at her house. A knock on Mercedes’ door begins a unique friendship. Author: Margot Raven Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen
Sixth grader Addison had a taste of “normal” while her mother and step-father Dwight were married. She even had two younger half sisters to share her life with. But after the divorce, Dwight got custody of her two half sisters and Addie began a new and different life with “Mommers”.
Addie’s mom sleeps most of the day and then leaves Addie alone at night to “go out” or follow her “business interests” with a new boyfriend. It isn’t that Mommers doesn’t love Addie, it’s that she doesn’t take care of her. Mommers is irresponsible, doesn’t tell the truth and often leaves Addie alone for days with very little food. Mommers shows up with food and promises for the future just enough times to keep Addie believing that things will get better…get more normal…but things don’t get better.
Addie works hard in school, practices her flute and tries really hard to make it appear that her life is normal to her Grandpa, to Dwight, to her neighbors and to her teacher. More than anything, Addie doesn’t want to get Mommers in trouble. Addie loves Mommers, but deep down longs for the life her half sisters have with Dwight and his new wife. A near tragedy when Addie is left alone brings out the truth and helps Mommers make a choice that for once, is all about Addie. Author: Leslie Connor
Camp Out! really is the ultimate kids’ guide to camping. It includes all the information you would expect, like what to pack and how to make a s’more…plus many unique ideas. Who knew you could make a solar oven out of a pizza box or tell the temperature by counting cricket chirps? Do you know the best time to spot shooting stars? - mid-August. (Mark your calendar!) There is a whole chapter devoted to shelter; how to pick a campsite, the labelled parts of a tent, how to make a tent between two trees, how to make a tent if there is only one tree…even how to make your own tepee. Clear drawings for fire building, knot-tying, identifying animal tracks & the telltale signs in the sky for bad weather are also great. I especially liked the section on freshwater creatures & what you find in a rotten log – these are the things you would actually see camping out in Indiana. The book includes camp cooking ideas, games & crafts that are explained well, doable & unique. As my mom used to say, “Go Outside!” Author: Lynn Brunelle Illustrator: Brian Biggs
This is one stray dog’s story of what life is like on the street. Born in a toolshed and separated from her mother and brother, Squirrel has to learn to fend for herself; crossing busy streets, staying warm, and fighting over the food in trash cans with other starving dogs. There are tricks to staying hidden, avoiding capture, finding food and places to sleep, tricks only a stray dog would know. Squirrel shares her insight into this secret life. Some of the things that happen to Squirrel are sad - and a little bit hard to read - but she continues to find her way in a world that doesn’t seem to want her. Take heart that there is, somewhere in the world, a human that needs a dog as much as Squirrel needs a real home. Author: Ann M. Martin