Puffin Books

April 2017

$14.99 AU

390p pb

ISBN: 978-0147516015

fp September 2015

Full Cicada Moon

Marilyn Hilton

from Penguin Random House...

Itís 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimiís appearance is all anyone notices. She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbours balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimiís dreams of becoming an astronaut never fadeóno matter how many times sheís told no.

This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimiís perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up. 

If you have read this verse novel and would like to add your review or comments below please send to YARR-A

Good verse novels allow readers to really get into a characterís mind and see the world from their perspective and Marilyn Hiltonís Full Cicada Moon is one such novel. Set in 1969 it follows Mimi, a mixed race seventh grader who has just moved with her Japanese mother from California to Vermont where they will join her black father who moved earlier to take up a position as college professor. Mimi lives in a time when race is an issue and being half Japanese half black does not help. Her new neighbour wonít speak to the family and fellow students at school are not much better. But Mimi has courage and a love of astronomy and makes a friend with Stacey, a southern white girl and Timothy the boy from next door. Slowly Mimi finds her place and even affects changeÖ

What a beautiful story this is. Mimiís emotional journey during her first year in Vermont is moving and inspiring. Mimiís actions in the face of racism and sexism are commendable and the love and warmth from her family and friends are what get her through. I loved the characters and the slow build up of friendship, acceptance and change. Highly recommended for readers 10 plus.

Stephen, Canberra

Back to verse novels list