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Talking to the Moon

Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq; M├ętis;
Status: In Print
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;
Authentic Canadian Content

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 was four when her mother gave her up. Katie is a bright girl on the high end of the autism spectrum. The only memories she has are in her "Stack of Stories" notebook. When Katie spends the summer in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia with her foster mother, the connection she feels to this historic town makes Katie determined to find out about her past. Befriending locals like Aggie, an older woman, who shares a series of letters sent by a young girl who arrived in Lunenburg in 1752, and Aggie's sister, a reclusive eccentric who lives in the woods, help Katie to find clues to her own past. She can't help feeling that she has found her true roots.

"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! Highly Recommended!"— CM Magazine

"Katie, 11, doesn’t remember Moonbeam, the birth mother who left her the amethyst geode she treasures along with a message scrawled on a bookmark from a shop in Lunenburg, the picturesque, seaside town where Katie and her foster mother, Muzzy, are spending a month. Searching for Moonbeam, Katie feels a bond with another lonely girl, Catherine, whose French Protestant family immigrated here in the 1750s. Aggie, Catherine’s elderly descendant whom Katie helps out, shares her history and memorabilia, to which Aggie’s long-estranged sister, a reclusive carver, and two children with deep local roots add missing pieces. Along with Katie’s and Catherine’s, a third narrative thread concerns Catherine’s descendants; each touches on consequences of European settlement to the Mi’kmaw and, later, the Métis peoples. Katie’s likable; her self-aware narration clarifies her challenges. Her uniquely ordered world is believable, as are her bouts of anxiety and difficulty reading emotions. Bullied in Montreal, in Lunenburg Katie meets only understanding and kindness. No one’s offended when she avoids physical contact or finds her conceited when she (accurately) enumerates her abilities. This blend of a contemporary search for roots with finely detailed colonial history rewards patient readers, especially fans of historical fiction" - Kirkus Reviews

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 10-14. 

Themes/Keywords: Foster Care, Disabilities & Special Needs, Family, Bullying, Colonial History.

Additional Information
332 pages | 5.25" x 7.50"