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I received this book for free from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. If you've read my other reviews, you'll know that if it's bad, I'll say so, regardless of how I received the book.Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
Published by Park Row on May 2nd 2017
Source: Net Galley
I was thinking about which books I’ve read this year that are amazing. Ginny Moon is at the top of the list. I wrote this review on GoodReads about the time I relaunched Mass Consternation but way before it became a books and more blog. It seems right to republish it here too.
Ginny Moon is the story of a teenage girl who has gone through the American foster system and found her forever home. That’s not a spoiler. From the start, Ginny is living in the blue house with her Forever Mom and her Forever Dad. I should mention that Ginny has autism, but as it’s not mentioned in the book, it’s not that important. Kind of.
The story is too delightful (and sad and funny) to ruin with spoilers. It’s written from Ginny’s point of view, so we live her concerns and happiness. She’s a “smart cookie” – her words – and determined and strategic. Her plans may have flawed logic, like spending a $20 bill because the change has bills and coins thus more money. But they are thought out.
So back to the autism issue. The main character having autism was one of the reasons why I requested Ginny Moon. Autism is a spectrum, and it can be very isolating for the people and their close friends and family because there’s rarely anyone exactly like them. Most of the literature is academic, making it hard to digest. I love the way Benjamin Ludwig deals with Ginny’s autism. He never mentions it. We know that Ginny is in a special-ed classroom and has an aide. We see all her behavioral quirks, and her family and friends all refer to them and manage their actions to help Ginny. But it’s all just Ginny. While I see the nine grapes as an autistic trait, many of her behaviors could also be PTSD. She definitely went through enough with her birth mother to cause damage. I can see autistic teens and others being able to relate to Ginny because her diagnosis isn’t made a factor. But it is a book about a person like them.
The other part of this that I love is that Ginny’s voice is maintained right through the story. The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes is another recent fiction story about an autistic child, but by the end of the book, the boy is waxing philosophically in a very mature tone. Very different than at the start when he was saying he started using words because he realized it’s easier.
Ginny Moon? Definitely recommend.
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