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Beneath a Meth Moon

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  2,425 ratings  ·  541 reviews
A stunning new novel from threetime Newbery Honor–winning
author Jacqueline Woodson.

Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life, in a new town, but inside she’s still reeling from the loss of her beloved mother and grandmother after Hurricane Katrina washed away their home. Laurel’s new life is going well, with a new best friend, a place on the cheerleading squad and T-Boom,...more
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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Newbery 2013
25th out of 116 books — 1,106 voters
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Book Bracketology 2012
8th out of 39 books — 16 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Karen Ball
Teaching middle school, I'm always a little edgy about ordering substance abuse related fiction. This one was a stellar purchase, though. Laurel has lost her beloved mother and grandmother who were killed during Hurricane Katrina because her grandmother refused to leave her coastal Mississippi home. Laurel's father moves the family to central Iowa, where they try to pick up the pieces. Starting a new high school is stressful enough, but Laurel seems to find a place with the cheerleading squad, h...more
Jul 06, 2012 Richelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This left me disappointed, given the heavy topics dealt with. It was too slight. Laurel lost her mother and her grandmother in Katrina, and when she, her father, and baby brother move up north, she finds herself falling for a boy who leads her to meth.

While it was sad, I didn't feel like there was much character development, and I found the treatment of the subject matter didn't give it the sort of impact it should have had. This is a really stripped down story and Woodson writes it well, but i...more
Mary Farrell
Fabulous book! Jacqueline Woodson is an amazing writer. This is not just a book about meth addiction. This is not just a book about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. The author combines them both with breathtaking writing. I highly recommend it!
Eileen Granfors
I saw the review for "Beneath a Meth Moon" in the Sunday LA Times, bought the book on a Monday and finished the book on a Tuesday the same week. What a rush from the words of the gifted author, Jacqueline Woodson.

The book is presented in short chapters, giving the feeling of the jumpiness meth induces in its users. The main character, Laurel, calls meth "the moon," because it takes her over the moon beyond her troubles. After losing loved ones in a flood, she thinks she can go on, for she has a...more
Linda Lipko
This is an author who does not disappoint. An award winning Newbery and Coretta Scott King recipient, this latest book packs a wallop.

When 15 year old Laurel Daneua moves to a new area with her father and little brother after her mother and grandmother were killed in Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina, despite the incredible grief and heartache,the family valiantly tries to pick up the pieces and start again.

Finding a new friend who introduces her to meth quickly equates to a life swirling int...more
Nov 10, 2011 Erin rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011, ya
There's a line in this very book that might capture my feelings exactly: "I like to read. . . . A hundred and ten books in my house and counting. I read all of them. Some sucked, but I kept reading, hoping they'd turn good at some point. They didn't though. But you don't give up on something—"

I read this book in about two hours, max. It's fairly insubstantial. I will say that for a title that gives it all away it's not as bleak as I'd been imagining, and all told nothing bad seems to really happ...more
Feb 17, 2012 Jo marked it as to-read
Shelves: need
Totally read the author as Jacqueline Wilson and thought "Jeez, she's branching out a bit."
Jackie Miller
Since I've started combing the depths of YA fiction I haven't yet read a drug/addiction/disorder book. This is my first, so I'm kind of a newbie. But I have to say that this book is pretty powerful. I've never struggled with a serious addiction, but I've seen enough people succumb to it. One thing I've noticed that holds true across the board is that addiction is the symptom of a different problem or hurt. Although this is pretty dark subject, the book is written with a hopeful tone.

This book sh...more
"I celebrated my fifteenth birthday sitting in the rain begging for money. I was living in Donnersville by then. Nights inside that room in back of the hardware store, days walking and begging for money. Always Mama's voice inside my head whispering, "Daneaus don't lie, and they don't steal," so loud and hard that a part of me wanted to scream, "Then I'm not a Daneau anymore!" But scared always that the voice would go away, that her hand on my back, when I was shaking and sick with the need for...more
Lisa Campbell
Lisa Campbell
Contemporary Realistic Fiction
This is the story of Laurel Daneau, hurricane Katrina survivor, cheerleader, best friend and meth addict. Hurricane Katrina took the lives of her mother and grandmother and Laurel’s father moves the family from Mississippi to Iowa. Instantly popular, Laurel attracts the eye of T-Boom, co-captain of the basketball team. T-Boom introduces Laurel to ‘moon’ and she is immediately in its grip. Laurel descends to living in the streets and begging for money. E...more
I love Woodson's poetry and often recognized lyricism in this book about the horrors of meth addiction. Laurel has already suffered so much...the loss of her beloved grandmother, her mother, and her home. She and her father and brother move to rural Iowa from coastal Mississippi. I can understand Laurel's culture shock, but things seem to be going so well...when she falls for the start basketball player and follows him into regular meth use.

Woodson doesn't honey-coat the effects of addiction, or...more
Mar 25, 2012 Karlan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya, adult
This poetic novel is a marvelous look at the suffering of a lovely young girl who quickly becomes addicted to meth. After the loss of her mother and grandmother in a hurricane, she seems to be doing well two years later until a boyfriend gives her the drug. The writing here is beautiful and captures her descent powerfully.
Edward Sullivan
A heartbreaking but hopeful story told in exquisite prose.
Gritty. Laurel loses her mother and grandmother in a flood. After living with her aunt for a couple of years, she moves to a little town called Galilee with her father and brother. Now 15, she becomes a cheerleader and starts dating the star basketball player. Unfortunately, T-Boom introduces her to meth ("moon").

From there her life slowly disintegrates. Her dad is still too grief-stricken to notice, but her best friend Kaylee does and tries to help. Laurel turns away from her, and when her dad...more
Laurel, her dad, and her 3-month-old baby brother escape Pass Christian, MS just before Hurricane Katrina hits. Her grandmother refuses to leave and her mother decides to stay with her grandmother. As a result, they are killed. After a move to Galilee, IA, Laurel seems to be making a fresh start. She makes a best friend, Kaylee, who is a cheerleader and soon Laurel has joined the squad too. It's through cheering that Laurel meets T-Boom, the basketball team's star player. And it's because of T-B...more
I've been seeking out some titles that might appeal to juvenile offenders or that horribly-named demographic -- "at-risk" teenagers -- that concern characters in difficult, "urban" situations but are not graphically violent, offensive or sexual. It's hard to even say that this book is "urban", since it takes place in small-town Iowa. I don't know a better word -- street lit? Regardless, Woodson is kind of the queen of teen street. Most junior and high school teachers rely on her works for their...more
Em (Love YA Lit)
Em's Review: Laurel Daneau has experienced great loss. At a young age she lost her mother and her grandmother to a devastating storm. She lost her home and a big chunk of her heart. A few years later, Laurel and her family (father and brother) move to Iowa hoping to make a fresh start. She joins the cheerleading squad, makes a new best friend, and falls for basketball co-captain T-Boom. Things are looking up, at least from the outside, until T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth (which she calls moon...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth Dailey Kenneth
Too short for this topic. And calling it "moon?" Are you trying to make it sound dreamlike and sweet?

We see main character, Laurel, at 15 years old. She's survived Hurricane Katrina and the loss of her mother and grandmother to the storm. She, her father and baby brother move around to wherever a job is. Now Laurel is living in Iowa and a cheerleader. She is dating the basketball star, T-Boom. T-Boom gives her her first taste of "the moon." Laurel quickly starts to rely on the "moon" to take her...more
This book was not what I was hoping for, to say the least. I understood where the writer was coming from in terms of the writing style, but I found it confusing and not as powerful as possible with such a huge subject.

In essence, the novel is the story of Laurel had become addicted to Meth. This is a huge topic and very important, yet the impact of it on Laurel's life is not portrayed in a way that made me care. The story is told from Laurel's point of view; memories are told in fragments (sinc...more
3.5 stars

Although i've never had problems with addiction, I have known people that have struggled with these issues, and the mind of an addict is something that truely intrigues me. This story focuses on the demise of Laurel, who after losing her monther and grandmother during Hurricane Katrina, moves to a new town, and meets T-Boom the star basketball player who has eyes for only Laurel, but also has eyes for the moon, aka meth.

Laurel gets caught up in the moon and quickly falls subject to a se...more
After Hurricane Katrina takes her mama and grandma away forever, her father moves Laurel and her brother away from Mississippi for a fresh start in a small town called Galilee. She becomes a cheerleader and meets T-Boom, a hot basketball player who introduces her to meth. Shortly after trying it, she's hooked and leaves home for life on the streets, begging for money to buy drugs. She meets a graffiti artist, Moses, who befriends her and uses his kindness to help her out of the darkness before h...more
I liked this book. I didn't find it overly didactic and although I've read a fair number of books with the main conflict being drug addiction, I've not read any specifically dealing with a teen using crystal meth. Knowing people from my past who have been addicted to meth, as well as relationships with people who are recovering addicts (other substances), it appeared to be pretty accurate in its portrayal, in a skimming the surface type of way. It doesn't deal with the addiction with the intensi...more

Beautiful. Well written.

Not everyone will enjoy this book. Not everyone will understand what the water can do to a soul. Not everyone will relate to stories of loss and addiction and giving up before reaching out.

I do not know if the author has ever been to the Gulf Coast or not, but I appreciate that she centered this story on the Mississippi coast, which was literally flattened by Katrina. Trees older than your great-great-grandparents just gone--leaving large graves where their roots used t...more
This was a well-done book, an interesting story told in a creative and lyrical way. The storytelling hops back and forth within the chronology of Laurel's tale, which feels realistic, and appropriate for a teenage narrator who is supposed to be writing the story, her elegy, herself.
Her story itself is pretty harrowing, first with the loss of her mother and her grandmother, and then with her spiral into meth addiction. I never really knew much about meth before, so this was definitely interestin...more
Teen Laurel lost her mother and grandmother in Hurricane Katrina. Struggling to get back on their feet, she moves north with her father and baby brother. There, things are going okay as she joins the cheerleading squad and meets the basketball star, T-Boom. However, T-Boom likes to party, aka do crystal meth, which he calls moon. Laurel gets hooked and winds up living in the streets, doing whatever she can for the next high.

For being a book about such a serious subject as meth addiction, I thoug...more
Jan 30, 2012 Amanda rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amanda by: ARC from ALA
I was disapointed by this book because it jumps around so much. Laurel is struggling to make sense of the loss of her mother and grandmother in Hurricane Katrina and starting a new life years later in Iowa. She makes the cheerleading squad and starts dating the star basketball player who introduces her to "the moon"--meth. This book tries to follow Laurel's spiral into addiction while constantly jumping back to show glimpses of her past. The story jumps around from before Katrina, the two years...more
A moving tale about teens and meth addiction. Laurel lost her mom and grandma in Hurricane Katrina and is still trying to patch the holes in her heart. When she, her dad and baby brother move to Iowa, Lauren joins the cheerleading squad, meets a boy and begins to smoke meth (AKA moon).

Lauren's quick descent is accurately displayed and her relapse and anger are believable. I found the second half of the book much more engaging than the first half. In the second part, she meets Moses, a gay teen w...more
Jon-henry Kubej
This is a good book. It was written like a roller coaster. Laurel, a young girl in High school, moved to a new town where she became a cheerleader. She met a boy that she became infatuated with, Boon. Boon got Laurel hooked on meth. Basically throughout the book you follow Laurel through her addiction through meth. She started doing it for fun and soon it turned to necessitiy. You follow her running away from home and becoming homeless begging for money to buy more meth. It ends pretty happily w...more
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