What the Moon Saw
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What the Moon Saw

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  469 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Clara Luna's name means "clear moon" in Spanish. But lately, her head
has felt anything but clear. One day a letter comes from Mexico, written in Spanish: Dear Clara, We invite you to our house for the summer. We will wait for you on the day of the full moon, in June, at the Oaxaca airport. Love, your grandparents.

Fourteen-year-old Clara has never met her father's parents...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Ruhama
Clara has received an invitation to go visit her father's parents in Mexico, and she's a little intrigued, but mostly scared. Her father left many years ago and rarely looked back, and now she's expected to go to a place with no electricity, all they speak is Spanish (hers is rusty) and she won't know anyone? But something Clara hasn't told her parents is that she's been feeling restless, so this two month visit might just be what she needs to 'find herself'. So, Clara accepts the invitation and...more
Barbarac
I wanted to read another book by Laura Resau but my library didn't have it, and I got this one instead. Good introduction to this author. It's a coming of age story about a girl coming to terms with her Mexican heritage. Reading it I was jealous of her 2 month vacation away from our world, so busy and fast that you never have time to stop and really enjoy it. The descriptions of the landscape and the food in this book were good enough to mentally transport me to the middle of nowhere, Mexico and...more
Paradox
Rating -

Plot - 29/30
Writing – 19/20
Characters - 18/20
Creativity - 18/20
The *Wow* Factor - 9/10
Grand Total - 94/100

Grade – A

Review -

I read this book over a year ago, so my memories of it aren't as clear as with a book I just read. But I do remember how wonderful it was! When the story began, Clara Luna seemed pretty much like a normal American teenager, and remains so when she meets her grandparents in Mexico. She undergoes a transformation as she learns about her history, culture, and healing ab...more
Marianne Mitchell
This is Laura Resau’s debut novel and from the very first, she had me hooked! Clara Luna is a modern teen living a middle class, convenience-filled life in the Bay Area. When she gets an invitation to visit her paternal grandparents whom she’s never met, she’s in for big surprises. Their home in southern Mexico is worlds away from her home in more ways than she imagines. After the initial culture shock of arriving in a small village with no electricity or indoor plumbing, Clara starts to absorb...more
Sue
This was a beautiful, lyrical novel of a teen girl from Maryland who discovers her roots in Oaxaca, Mexico. I picked it up because I'd recently met some families from there and thought it would be interesting. The writing is sweet and lovely as it tells Clara's story of visiting her grandparents for the summer, learning their history, and finding herself. She learns about herself as she learns about her grandmother's past and her abilities as a healer. The story is told with love for the area an...more
Alexa
As a new Laura Resau, I found this book pretty good. I liked how I was able to relate to the main character, Clara. Like her, I probably wouldn't have wanted to go to visit my long-lost grandparents over the summer. As the book progressed, I enjoyed the transitions from Clara's time and Helana's time. I really like hearing how strong and cool her grandparents are. This book made me think a lot and I really liked it. It was interesting to hear about another culture and I enjoyed hearing about the...more
Faith Bradham
4 1/2 stars
Ooo, I really liked this one. I find language and culture fascinating, so it's not much of a suprise that I like it. I also liked that I was able to translate the bits of Spanish that were interwoven into the book (they're translated into English for non-Spanish-speakers). I think that this was a very well written book that fully deserved the LoneStar award (a TX award given to a list of books each yr). Some of the LoneStars are not so great, but this one lived up to my expectations.
Sarah
Aug 07, 2008 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: to any one
i can really connect to clara. how she does not know much of her fathers past and family. this book helped me learn more of who i am and where i come from. after i read this book i had a really deep talks with my dad. i started asking him things about his life and family. i learned alot,me and my dad bonded through the talks we had. this book helped me want to know more of my family and my self. this book was one of the most wonderfull books i read in a long time.
Melissa Ramsey
I'm trying to read books based in other cultures. This book was amazing! It is based in the mountains of Mexico and mixes a lot of culture into the writing, without you really noticing. The writing is extremely figurative and filled with metaphors...I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm thinking of putting it on my 7th graders' reading list because it is really a story of coming to realize how shallow all the possessions in America are.
Patsi Trollinger
I stumbled across this book while searching for something else. Glad I did. I enjoyed the dilemmas of a suburban teenage girl who chooses to spend a summer in the remote Mexican village where her father grew up. There's humor, drama, a touch of romance, and hints of magic in the gift for healing that the girl clearly shares with her grandmother.
Wendy
Lovely, charming, accessible magical realism-ish YA.
LibrayDanielle
I read this for some of our middle school Spanish teachers who are looking for a good Spanish culture novel for middle school students. this book fits the bill perfectly.

Clara Luna lives in Maryland with her parents and younger brother. she doesn't know much about her heritage, and is curious. her father comes from Mexico, but doesn't talk about growing up in Mexico or the family he left behind. as we begin Clara is 14 and feeling like she doesn't fit in her skin and is restless. just when thing...more
Mary Ann
Fourteen-year-old Clara Luna spends the summer with her grandparents in the tiny, remote village of Yucuyoo, Mexico, learning about her grandmother's life as a healer, her father's decision to leave home for the United States, and her own place in the world. Realistic portrayal of the cultural duality many of our children face.
Melissa
Magically sweet.


I recently re-read this book. I was even more touched by it than I was when I first read it several years ago. Immigration is such a hot topic but we rarely talk about what is left behind by immigrants, and how immigration affect the people and places they leave. This novel touches on that and give you a good tast of it. I know because I've been living in the Mixteco, where this novel is set, for the past 15 years. When Clara talks to her grandfather about her father's departure....more
Jan
YA novel about Clara Luna who is daughter of a man who came to the US illegally, married a white American citizen and got his citizenship. Clara, now 14, is sent to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Oaxaca area. Her grandmother is a healer and Clara finds that she is too. Wonderful descriptions of life in a small rural part of Mexico and the honor of ancestors. Told in two voices, Clara and Helena, the grandmother, gives the story the history and the current struggles of American tee...more
Elizabeth
this is the story of clara luna. her father came to america at a very young age and made a life for himself with a landscaping business. although clara asks her father about his home, he never speaks of his parents or where he came from in mexico. as clara is on the cusp of high school, she feels restless in her maryland town. a letter arrives from mexico addressed to clara. it is her maternal grandmother and she is inviting clara to visit for the entire summer. and so begins a young girl's jour...more
Jacqui
One of my favorite Resau novels. Clara's search for identity and the mysticism of her Abuela's healing are intriguing. As always, Resau brings us fully into the culture she is writing about in her description and dialogue. Fabulous book.
Smaileh
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I was caught in its spell, much as the main character, Claire, is caught in the spell of her grandparents' remote home in Mexico. Claire has grown up without knowing her Mexican parents, but when she turns 14, she receives a letter inviting her to stay the summer. At first she dismayed by how very different it is from the home she's used to--from the airport there is a long bus ride, and an even longer walk when the bus slides down the mou...more
Susan P
Wow! This one was gorgeous. Lyrical, descripitive writing and a beautiful sense of place and time. The summer of her 14th year, Clara Luna goes to visit the grandparents she has never met. They live in a tiny town in Mexico called Yucuyoo. They don't speak English or have a TV or any of the modern conveniences that Clara takes for granted. What they do have however is a way of filling the gaps in Clara's soul that she never realized were there until she came to this magical place. Clara spends t...more
Sandi
This was a book that my daughter read for school. She said I would like it...guess she knows me pretty well. It was a lovely story of a teenage girl from Maryland who goes to rustic Mexico to visit her grandparents whom she had not previously met. It is a story of a young girl discovering her roots, listening to her soul and becoming aware of her families' interconnectedness. The stories of her grandmother's life are compelling. The author brings the landscape and scenery of the mountain region...more
Teepet
A different story but almost the exact same themes as the other book by Resau that I've read, Red Glass. Fortunately it is also eqaully good and inspiring. I just have a feeling I'm going to wind up with the stories all muddled in my mind.
Jennifer Danko
Laura Resau touches the hearts of young adults with the story of Clara Luna. Readers will be mesmerized by the amount of heart that was put into writing this book. Clara Luna’s path to self discovery is a story that every reader can relate to. Resau brings to life the story of a young girl with detailed descriptions and eye opening adventures anyone can enjoy. Readers will fall in love with Clara Luna’s adventures into the background of her heritage.
Claire
13 year old Clara Luna feels restless growing up in her Maryland home. Just as she feels like she is lost in the US, a letter comes from her Abuelita in a small village in Oaxaca, Mexico. Clara decides to take a trip to meet her grandparents for the first time. While in Oaxaca, she learns about the great power of healers in her family, and discovers the secrets of the village and grows closer to her illegal immigrant father's history.

Amy
Interesting story of a girl, Clara, who is sent to a village in Mexico for the summer. She lives with her grandparents, who basically have nothing. Coming from the suburbs, she has to adjust to the new lifestyle but begins to enjoy it. When her grandmother begins to teach her some of her healing arts, Clara begins to feel as though she were meant to live that way, and resolves to not fall into the conspicuous consumption trap back home.
Debbie O
I liked this coming of age story. Clara is 13 and is sent to a far away place to meet her grandparents for the first time. She learns to appreciate her heritage, understand her father, love her grandparents and herself. I liked the way the author went back and forth from Clara's story to her grandmother's story. Clara learns how to cope with disappointment and be a genuine friend. She also discovers her own purpose in life. I like the ending.
Ratforcekids
What the Moon Saw is a multi-cultural book about a young girl going to Mexico to find her roots. Rich and colorful, this is an awesome book for all ages!

What the Moon Saw, by Laura Resau, is a beautiful story about a young girl names Clara Luna who travels from her modern home in Baltimore, Maryland, to her grandparents home in the mountains of old Mexico. I think you'll enjoy taking this adventure with the young Clara!
Kelly
Fourteen-year-old Clara has a father who doesn't like to talk about his life before he crossed the Mexican border into the US. So Clara doesn't exactly know what she's getting into when she's invited by her father's parents to their home in rural Mexico for a two-month vacation. Clara reluctantly leaves the comforts of her Baltimore home and learns more about her father, his family, and herself than she could have imagined.
Jan
It truly hated for this book to end! This is a beautiful multicultural story about a young girl looking to figure out who she is. A trip to the mountains of old Mexico and a summer spent with the grandparents she had never met guides Clara Luna (I love her name!) on a quest to find herself. She learns that life is so much more than shopping malls, cell phones and the internet. Awesome book!
Haley
This was a nice middle-grade novel. Clara is fourteen, but I still think this can be considered middle-grade and not YA. I liked how Clara showed interest in her heritage. I liked the friendship/romance between Clara and Pedro. And I really liked Clara's relationship with her parents. This was a cute middle-grade book, and it was nothing special, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Martha
I was excited when the book club chose this book because it was already on my "to read" list. I was happy to have a reason to read it in a hectic life. But, it was boring and I just couldn't get into it all together. I still gave it 3 stars because I feel like the was cute, but not engaging. I loved the grandmother's story, but just couldn't get into Clara's.
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202936
I'm the author of the young adult novels The Queen of Water, Red Glass, What the Moon Saw, The Indigo Notebook, The Ruby Notebook , The Jade Notebook, and the middle-grade novel Star in the Forest. I grew up in Maryland, then moved around for ten years (as student, ESL teacher, and anthropologist), making my home in New Orleans; Aix-en-Provence, France; Oaxaca, Mexico; Tucson; and now, Fort Colli...more
More about Laura Resau...
The Queen of Water Red Glass The Indigo Notebook (Notebook, #1) Star in the Forest The Ruby Notebook (Notebook, #2)

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