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Young Adult Fiction Depression

Under the Moon

by (author) Deborah Kerbel

Cormorant Books
Initial publish date
Jan 2012
Depression, Girls & Women, Loners & Outcasts
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2012
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2012
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 13 to 18
  • Grade: 6 to 9
  • Reading age: 12 to 15


Lily MacArthur has never been much of a sleeper, but since the death of her Aunt Su, she’s lost the ability to sleep completely. Night after night she goes to bed and waits for the sun to rise, without catching a wink of sleep. As she pushes people away by day, her closest friend becomes the night-time moon. Looking for a way to spend her sleepless nights, she slips out of the house. She meets Ben, who works the night shift at the local drive-thru. A newcomer to town, Ben has a troubled past — and future — that he keeps from Lily.


As Lily’s sleeplessness begins to destroy her health, she has no idea that Ben holds the key to finding her sleep and saving her life. But first, she has to find a way to save his.

About the author

Deborah Kerbel is the author of several picture books, including Before You Were Born, When Molly Drew Dogs, and the award-winning Sun Dog, as well as novels for middle grade and young adult readers. Born in London, England, she moved to Canada at the age of two and went on to attend the University of Western Ontario. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association YA Book of the Year, and the Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award. Deborah lives in Thornhill, Ontario, with her husband, two book-loving children, and a schnoodle named Alfredo.


Deborah Kerbel's profile page


  • Commended, <i>Resource Links</i> Year's Best
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Text

Editorial Reviews

“[A] gently touching, often funny story of grief, anxiety and loneliness — and of the surprise and pleasure of those rare points of contact that drive that loneliness away.”

Canadian Children's Book News

“Deborah Kerbel effectively portrays the turmoil of the teen heart and mind: apprehensive of the unknown, like the obscurity of the dark night, while still hopeful for possibilities that glimmer in the moon.”

CanLit for Little Canadians

“Kerbel interweaves light humourous moments with serious insights about how to live one’s life to the fullest, making for a wonderful story.”

Mabel's Fables Bookstore

“Deborah Kerbel has given her readers an excellent coming-of-age young adult novel … [the novel] will be nominated for awards. It is certainly deserving! Highly Recommended.” 4/4 Stars

CM Magazine

Librarian Reviews

Under the Moon

After her aunt dies, Lily begins looking for a way to spend her sleepless nights. One night she leaves the house and meets Ben, who works the night shift at the local drive-thru. Lily has no idea that Ben can help her find sleep and save her life, but first, she has to find a way to find his lost dreams and save his life.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

Other titles by Deborah Kerbel