Alabama Moon

Alabama Moon

Book - 2006
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After the death of his father, ten-year-old Moon leaves their forest shelter home and is sent to an Alabama institution, becoming entangled in the outside world he has never known and making good friends, a relentless enemy, and finally a new life. I could trap my own food and make my own clothes. I could find my way by the stars and make fire in the rain. Pap said he even figured I could whip somebody three times my size. He wasn't worried about me. For as long as ten-year-old Moon can remember, he has lived out in the forest in a shelter with his father. They keep to themselves, their only contact with other human beings an occasional trip to the nearest general store. When Moon's father dies, Moon follows his father's last instructions: to travel to Alaska to find others like themselves. But Moon is soon caught and entangled in a world he doesn't know or understand, apparent property of the government he has been avoiding all his life. As the spirited and resourceful Moon encounters constables, jails, institutions, lawyers, true friends, and true enemies, he adapts his wilderness survival skills and learns to survive in the outside world, and even, perhaps, make his home there.
Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374301842
Branch Call Number: J FICTION KEY
Characteristics: 294 p. ; 22 cm


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IndyPL_SteveB Apr 02, 2019

A fine juvenile novel that will remind readers of the great youth survival novels, *Julie of the Wolves*, *Hatchet*, and *My Side of the Mountain*. The twist here is that the main character can easily survive in the woods. His problem is that he has to learn to survive living with other people.

Moon Blake is ten years old, living a reclusive existence in an Alabama state forest, with his paranoid Vietnam vet father. Moon’s mother died when he was young and he has spent most of his life in a dugout home, living off the land and helping his father grow vegetables in a garden. When Moon’s father dies because he refuses to visit a doctor, Moon becomes a ward of the state and is placed in a boys’ home. He can’t get used to the regimented living, and he convinces two of the boys to escape with him back to the woods. The two things that really set off this novel are the details about living in the forest and the changes that come over Moon as his world expands and he sees that he prefers to live among people. He’s a great character.

Dec 11, 2013

This book is amazing! I loved it! I missed some parts of the book because we read the book in school but I loved it! <3

Jun 29, 2013

this book is great i like hal and kit they are such good characters

kindred1 Apr 13, 2011

Moon Blake and his father live in a very remote, wooded part of Alabama. They live in a very primitive domicile. It is not really a house but more of a shelter built into the earth with a special hiding place in the back to be used when the inevitable happens. What is that you might ask? It is when the government will come looking for you and try to take you and your freedoms away. Yes, Moon’s father is what we might think of as a militia-type. He hates and distrusts the government and he is teaching his son to hate and distrust the government, too.

Moon has learned that you need to be self-reliant, independent of others, strong, and resourceful. He knows how to live off the land. He and his father hunt, gather, and grow their own food. They even make their own clothes. Moon’s mom died when he was a small child. He doesn’t remember her very well, but his father tells him that she was a very loving person. Moon’s dad compares her to a little finch. And, that is how Moon remembers her. She is buried near their shelter on a hill overlooking a river.

Moon and his father have no contact with the outside world with one exception. There is a local merchant they visit on rare occasions to trade merchandise. Not too far into the book, Moon’s dad injures his leg very badly. He won’t allow Moon to go for help. Knowing he will die, he tells Moon that he should go to Alaska to be with people who are like them. You could guess that Moon’s “Pap” dies. This leaves Moon to take care of the remains and make his plans to travel to Alaska.

This is where the story really begins. Moon narrates the story. He encounters trouble when he is trying to figure out how he will get to Alaska. He has run-ins with a lawyer, a social service’s agent, and a lawman. He ends up in a juvenile detention center where he befriends two other boys.

This is a very exciting, adventure tale. I have to admit, I did not think I would enjoy it.

Jan 09, 2011

A really fresh, original story with a great central character. Moon has been living in a shack in the woods with his father for most of his life; his dad doesn’t trust normal society or the government, and thinks they need to hide from them. Following the death of his father, it looks like Alabama will be taken away by a police officer who has a grudge against him. With an engaging plot and superb voice, this book is suspenseful, eye-opening, and has a thoroughly satisfying ending.

Icicle Sep 01, 2009

The story of a Vietnam veteran who became a hermit after the war, removing himself and his young son from any connection or dependance on society. Well written and thought out, a very different coming-of-age story.


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Jul 05, 2014

blue_kangaroo_245 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Dec 11, 2013

kayfl11 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

OlegOleksyn Mar 02, 2012

OlegOleksyn thinks this title is suitable for 1 years and over

Feb 14, 2011

rain21 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


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