two days after i was born, mama put me out in the backyard in the shade so i could get some air. by the time she looked over at me again, the august sun had crept up and burn my leg.Eight-year-old Lila doesn’t remember the sun. Because of her rare allergy to sunlight, she only ever leaves the house after dark. Almost every night, she plays in the garden with Elizabeth and Alyssa, two girls in tutus and fairy wings. Lila believes that, with her friends’ help, she will be able to become both a sun goddess and a moon girl before she turns nine. But her birthday is two months away, and a lot can change in that time.
mama says i screamed real bad.
and because a pediatrician at the hospital had seen xeroderma pigmentosum when he was in medical school, he had the test run on me. then everybody found out i had a defect that made me sensitive to the light. the sun. uv rays. some street lights.
I read the lovely a cool moonlight in a single sitting – not only because it’s short, but because it’s the kind of book you don’t want to put down. Lila is a fabulous narrator, and Angela Johnson did a fantastic job giving us the limited perspective of an eight-year-old but still allowing us to read between the lines and guess at what she’s not telling us.
a cool moonlight reminded me a little of Ben Rice’s Pobby and Dingan. It’s not just the theme of imaginary friends (this is not a spoiler, as readers can tell right away that this is what Alyssa and Elizabeth are), but also the bittersweet and gentle tone; the fact that both are such lovely books about childhood and loss and growing up.
My favourite thing about a cool moonlight was seeing Lila grow more and more comfortable in her own skin. By the end of the book, she has stopped daydreaming of becoming “normal” and is beginning to learn to accept herself. She knows she'll never play in the sunlight, but she realizes there's still a lot to enjoy about her life. I also loved Lila’s family. There were so many moments of quiet tenderness in this book.
It took me under two hours to read a cool moonlight, but it’s been a few days now and I’m still thinking about it. If you’re looking for a quick but rewarding read, this is the book for you.
Bits I liked:
i like my neighborhood when it’s dark. the secrets in people come out. but i’d never tell on them. that would be cheating.Other Opinions:
i’ve always wanted to be nine. always wanted to be nine and a superhero. always wanted too be nine, a superhero, and able to go out in the sun in a swimsuit on a bright hot day.
now I am nine.
i might be a superhero.
but being out in the sun doesn’t really matter anymore ‘cause it’s here and i’m here. that’s just how it is.
Out of the Blue
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