Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 15
- Grade: 5 to 10
Deep roots. Last year in Social Studies, Miss Matattall got us to draw our family trees. Mine was the only one with no roots and just one full branch for me, plus a half branch for Moonbeam. Because maybe she's already dead, and that's why she didn't come back to get me.
Katie Dupuis Pearson wants to find her real mother; her only clues are her Lavender Lady, a piece of amethyst, and a bookmark from Lunenburg. While spending a month in lovely Lunenburg with her foster mother, Katie makes friends with estranged sisters, Aggie and Jessie Langille. Katie becomes fascinated by stories about their ancestor, Catherine Marguerite Langille, one of the original Foreign Protestant Lunenburg settlers in 1753. Like Katie, Catherine was friends with the Moon. Like Katie, Catherine was uprooted, forced to transplant herself. Will Katie find her own roots buried deep within the Lunenburg soil? Or will she be uprooted yet again?
About the author
Jan L. Coates is the author of numerous books for young readers, including A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk, a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Ann Connor Brimer Award, as well as a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Her middle grade novels have been finalists for the Ann Connor Brimer Award, the Violet Downey Award, and the Hackmatack Children's Choice Award. Sky Pig received the 2017 Lillian Shepherd Award for Illustration and was shortlisted for a Willow Award. She lives, writes, and teaches in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
"It's hard to pinpoint the charm of this book. Partly it is Katie, herself, her precision and her colour sense, her need for her personal space; partly it is Catherine Marguerite's letters, or bits of them, that we get in fits and starts, finding out about how life was back when, and partly it is the mystery of Katie's background that the reader will probably figure out before Katie, herself, does. All in all, Talking to the Moon is a book with a mystery, an interesting protagonist, and good background material. It also has a moral: don't despair over information that you have only heard as an eavesdropper; you may have it, or its context, completely wrong!
— CM Magazine
"Told from Katie's point of view Talking to the Moon offers the young reader insight into the often confusing and also awesome clarity experienced by children on the spectrum."
— Canadian Teacher Magazine
"The characters are well developed and easy to connect to. Katie is real and likable even though she is quirky. The history from the 1700s and Catherine is nicely woven into Katie's own quest to find her own story. It connects well to Katie's ability to feel a sense of belonging somewhere. The book is well written and descriptive. . . Overall I recommend this for 10 to 14-year-olds, especially those who like to read stories that look back in time and connect it to those in the present."4 out of 5 stars"
"This is an inspiring work of fiction that any younger reader can appreciate and learn from. It is geared to the eight to twelve age group, but anyone in their teens can also learn and be motivated by the characters in the book.
"The story features Katie who was placed in foster care because her mother Moonbeam did not want to raise her. She did leave her a piece of jewelry and a bookmark with some writing on the bookmark from Lunenburg Nova Scotia. This may be a clue to her mother. Katie would like more answers about the woman who gave birth to her.
"She is glad to leave Montreal because she was bullied there. Now in Lunenburg there is a different atmosphere and people don't treat her as differently because she is on the autism spectrum. She meets another girt, Catherine who feels left out at times. The two find they have much in common and commonalities from the past also.
"The book echoes how many pre-teens and teens feel isolated no matter what sort of upbringing they had. Talking to the Moon might represent a starting point for dialogue in acceptance and learning to cope with what life has given us."
RATING: 4 BOOKMARKS
— Talking Shelf Life