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The Book of Moon
George Crowder. Chelsea Press, $7.99 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-0-9979358-0-6
Crowder’s thoughtful and humorous debut follows the coming-of-age of a boy named Moon Landing. A 15-year-old Californian, Moon has a 17-year-old brother named Moss, and their parents are getting divorced. Mom Janis is gorgeous and decides to indulge in her new sexual freedom, while dad David tends to his successful restaurant and bar, and refuses to look for a new relationship. At the start of the separation, the boys spend weekends at the bar—eating, watching sports, doing homework—but disagreements between the parents lead to supervised visits with David. Janis, meanwhile, joins a dating website with the handle “cougarlicious.” Moon tries to be philosophical about his mom’s behaviors: “the most generous adjective I can offer to describe my mother’s approach to her single lifestyle would be ‘eager,’” while Moss signs up for a skateboarding contest. There are some grammatical errors, but this book has a fresh, contemporary vibe, with of-the-moment language. Throughout, Moon explores a variety of religions, sees himself as a modern-day Job, and endeavors to survive the age of 15 with his dignity intact, making for a solid novel about a boy figuring out who he is. (BookLife)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 03/22/2019