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What the Moon Saw

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  551 ratings  ·  118 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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Community Reviews

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High Plains Library District
What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau is the story of a 14 year old American girl named Clara Luna. She is at the age where she is trying to figure out just who she is. Her father, as a teen, came to America from Mexico, but that is all she knows about her father’s childhood. His family remains a mystery. One day Clara receives a letter from her father’s parents, Clara’s grandparents, who still live in the mountains of southern Mexico in a shack outside of the village of Yucuyoo. They invite her to v ...more
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
Patricia
What a lovely, lovely book! I highly recommend it! It starts out slowly, and the chapters are quite long, but the pace builds and one's love for the characters grows deeper with each passing page.

Fourteen-year-old Clara is an American girl who suddenly has the opportunity to meet her father's parents for the first time and to spend the summer with them in Mexico. Her grandmother is a healer, and Clara learns that she is, too. She reconnects with nature and her family and her past and future, and
...more
Melinda
I enjoyed this book much more than Red Glass; this one was more well written and thought provoking. I thought the character development, setting, language, and overall story was more relate-able to kids. I really liked that the young girl wasn't whiny and didn't have so many "issues". She was a strong character and one that I think most girls would look up to; more so than the girl in Red Glass. Also, Pedro was a likeable guy and exuded strong characteristics. He was a hard worker who valued his ...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.
Sara
This was a fantastic book!!! The imagery was superb!! I felt like I was actually there with Clara. Clara is an amazing girl, she's as light as a bird, a heron to be exact. I loved how natural the book was, I really wished I lived there with Clara's Abuelita and Abuelo. Clara's Abuelita was so amazing! I loved everything about how kind and good hearted she is. I wish that I could be a healer and be surrounded by nature all the time. It'd be great to be able to wander around a forest whenever I wa ...more
Molly
I very much enjoyed this book. The writing is beautiful and although I often don't like magic realism, this author pulls it off and delighted me with the way that mostly realistic fiction sometimes slipped into magic I started reading it thinking it might be a good book with a Mexico connection and half white/half hispanic main character for my fourth graders. Indeed, my fourth graders adored it when we read it out loud. However, then I did not finish the book with them because about half way th ...more
Wendy
Lovely, charming, accessible magical realism-ish YA.
Linda
Fourteen-year-old Clara Luna has never met her grandparents. Her father left them in their small village in Mexico to find a better living in the U.S., has never returned, and now those grandparents have sent an invitation for Clara to visit. What happens to her and what she discovers about herself in the months of the visit is the story told beautifully by Laura Resau. The chapters alternate between Clara’s story when she discovers she is a healer, and then her abuelita’s, also a healer. It’s ...more
LibraryDanielle
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.
Lelab
The perspective of this young teen is very interesting. The way the author portrays a simple life without devices and excess is refreshing. I don't want to give away too much, but my son read it for school and I'm glad that I read it, too.
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
Mikayla
i really liked this book but i'm hesitant to give it five stars because some parts didn't really give me that spark to keep reading because it was just about what she did, etc. my favorite chapters were the small insights on helena's life though - i looked forward to reading those parts.
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
Marysage
Not as good as Red Glass but still a marvellous novel
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.
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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 novels Star in the Forest and The Lightning Queen, (coming Oct. 27, 2015). 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, Fra ...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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