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Moon at Nine

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  852 ratings  ·  184 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father, Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Pajama Press
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  852 ratings  ·  184 reviews

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Diane Wallace
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well written YA (lesbian)book---the story's interest is really about how the middle-eastern culture treats someone who is gay/lesbian --- as being a young teen going through this even though your own family who was one of the wealthiest even shun you after finding out your sexual preference and being shun by everyone also--at least she had the guts and strength to stand up all of them. Recommended fun read to everyone!
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I hate this book. I hate it for its reality, for its truthfulness, for its potency. I hate it because it's a true story. I hate it because it's happening right now. I hate it because I can see parts of myself in Sadira and in Farrin. I hate it because it gave me hope and then killed it.

I cried. I cried so hard.

I hate it because it's so vivid, and so believable. I hate it for the characters who pretended to be friends and turned out being the foe. I hate it for painting a picture of a happy
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-borrowed
How can it possibly be that I have never read a Deborah Ellis novel? Ellis has won many accolades for her books which often surround topical issues and yet I have never read one of her books. Moon at Nine takes place in 1980's Iran and concentrates on the love between two schoolgirls- Farrin and Sadira. The war between Iran and Iraq has come to an end, but the people of Iran are not free, and Farrin and Sadira face devastating consequences if they are discovered by the Revolutionary Guard.

Originally reviewed at Oh Magic Hour.

Ever since I read The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson earlier this year, or actually maybe even as far back as when I read The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, I have been completely intrigued by literature set in the Middle East. It is somewhat difficult for me to write this post without getting treading around political topics, but as Atticus Finch once said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it

Opening line: "You're writing about demons." Principal Kobra's voice was hard and humourless.

Set in Iran MOON AT NINE is a very quick read and gently approaches the subject of gay rights – in fact any rights – under a strict religious regime. Many teens in the western world take their rights for granted – scream their right to this, that or the other on electronic media, at school and in their homes. But there are millions of teens in the world that do not enjoy this freedom. Farrin is just one
Jenni Frencham
Imagine that Annie on My Mind took place in Iran during the 1980s, and that instead of living unhappily ever after, the main characters face much worse fates due to the laws of the land. This is what awaits the reader of Moon at Nine. Farrin goes to a school for gifted girls, and when Sadira begins attending her school, Farrin realizes that she loves her. Amid all of the political upheaval in her country, she is caught kissing Sadira and the two are punished: they are to be kept separate and ...more
Jul 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lgbtq
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Honestly, I expected Moon at Nine to be a dramatic and politically-charged version of the formulaic YA lesbian romance that I’m so familiar with. And to a degree it is. Fifteen year old Farrin, who is growing up in 1980s Iran, meets the beautiful Sadira and falls in love. The girls start a sweet relationship, which is jeopardized when it is discovered.

But because Farrin and Sadira live in 1980s Iran, the consequences of their love are very dire. Moon at Nine goes far beyond the standard formula
Melissa Stacy
As a work of fiction, the middle grade/YA novel "Moon at Nine" is a mess. There are structural problems in the storytelling, unexplained tangents that read as emotionless scenes, and jumps in the timeline that feel chaotic and arbitrary. The reader is also required to understand a *LOT* of historical context and cultural detail on their own -- which is fine for an adult reader. But had I been eleven, twelve, sixteen or even eighteen years old, much of this book would've gone over my head, and I ...more
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a really good example of a book with writing that does not live up to its message. The homophobia and horrible actions of Iranian police is something that should be discussed more, especially in American media, and I appreciate that this book tackled it as a topic. However, this wasn't a very good story. Sadira seems to only be there to exposit or give out 'wisdom'. Farrin is an interesting character, but she suffers from the YA trope of 'not being like the other girls' and constant, ...more
Nothing I say will do justice to Moon at Nine. This emotionally powerful story will stay with you long after you finish. The fact that it is based off a true story is utterly heart wrenching. The fact that in some countries this still happens unbearable.

Farrin comes from a wealthy family, a fact that keeps her ostracized from her fellow classmates, that desire to bring the Shah back into power. She is instructed by her mother to keep her nose down and not draw attention to herself. For the most
Tara Chevrestt
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm somewhat on the fence about this book. I liked it. I found it very enlightening about the situation girls faced in Iran in the 80s, that period after the Shah and the revolution, before Desert Storm. Girls are permitted to go to school but so much is yet forbidden: music, movies, etc, and they must only wear certain clothes. We meet a headstrong young teenager in a household of secrets and she has one of her own. She likes other girls, or at least thinks she does. I'll get to that.

I really
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Ellis has tackled a tough topic here - same sex relationships in Iran - with real integrity, grace and passion - it is a powerful novel that I think offers no easy answers in terms of dealing with prejudice aimed at GLTBQ people in so many countries around the world - at first I wondered why Ellis had chosen to set the novel in 1988 but it makes sense - Iran's appalling human rights record is nothing new - it's decades old and that's an issue that we have to grapple with - Ellis doesn't ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Blue. A true blue story. A true blue story that will make you cry true blue tears. The book "Moon At Nine" is a story that will truly make you feel guilty. I noticed that the author build the story up to make you feel like it would have a happy ending and that everything would be fine. But in the end, she decides to break your heart. Farrin, a girl living in Iran who's parents put so much pressure on, doesn't have many friends, in fact, none. Until she meets Sadira, a girl that lit up her world ...more
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda Roy
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally got to read this book after buying it at Chapters in the Spring but making the mistake of taking it into work where it consequently made the rounds before I got it back a couple of weeks ago. My co-workers who read it had nothing but awesome things to say about it.

It's a good read and was kind of hard for me because I know the person whom the book is based on which is how I found about it. Knowing her and more of the story that it's based on gave me a different perspective on it. I
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This book was an eye-opener. Set in Iran during the time of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the story is about two teenage girls who fall in love in a country where it's forbidden. According to the question-and-answer section at the back of the book, over 70 countries currently consider being gay or lesbian a crime. Hard to believe in the 21st century. While reading the story I wanted to reach inside and tell the girls to be less obvious about it, to be more careful, but their innocent belief that they ...more
Rachel Bea
Moon at Nine is a beautifully written YA book about two young women in Iran who meet during high school and fall in love. It is a true story and will tug at your heart strings. I appreciated the fact that the author included an Author's Note at the end of the story with information about gay rights in Iran and around the world.

Unfortunately for me, on the Goodreads app, a certain reviewer's spoiler filled review was not hidden and the book was ruined for me shortly after I started it.
That ending leaves me feeling suffocated with sadness.
I do like Farrin and Sadira. And my heart breaks for them. Them and so many others who face violence and hatred just for being themselves.
But I didn't connect to this story as emotionally as I would've liked to. Hence the 3 star rating.
But still. This is a good book that should be read.
May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teenagers, lgbtqa
This book was obviously written by a white woman trying to understand another culture but failing epicly in doing so. This book is an easy read for ages 12 on up. It isn't terrible, just meant for younger audiences and lower to middle level readers.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
It was a good book, it's just I would have liked to know a bit more clarification about a few things and the fact that it was preditiable is another reason
I would like to thank The Cover Contessa, author Deborah Ellis, NetGalley, and Pajama Press for the opportunity to read this e-book. While I received my copy of the e-book for free, that in no way influences the content of my review.

Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father, Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative
Abigail Ash
Life comes with its hard times. For most of us it seems to come whether we are wearing the coolest clothes or rather a certain someone likes us like we like them. For Esperanza the concerns of the typical teenager are very different. In the novel, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, Esperanza Ortega face challenges that most people could never imagine. This young adult book is perfectly categorized as so because Esperanza is at the age where any teenager can relate, also her story is easily ...more
Christa  Seeley
This review originally posted at More Than Just Magic

Moon at Nine is the touching story of two people trying to find love in a dangerous place (I can’t help but think of that Barenaked Ladies’ song “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” while writing this review). To be specific that time is 1988 Iran. Farrin is a silent observer of the turmoil that is erupting all over her country. She comes from a wealthy family and they live in fear of the newly instated religious government. Though her parents
Leigh Collazo
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it

More reviews at Mrs. ReaderPants.

REVIEW: I was very young when the Iranian Revolution occurred and knew little of Ayatollah Khomeini and his Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). I do remember brief bits of news coverage of Ayatollah, and I'll never forget my mom's bright yellow t-shirt that read "Ayatollah is an Assahola." (Who knew my sweet Mama was so political?!) While I've read a few books about women's rights under the Taliban, this is the first one I've read about civil rights violations in Iran.

I feel bad for not liking Moon at Nine as much as I wish I could have, because honestly, part of it isn't even the book's fault. I knew going in it was going to be a book about Tragic Gays, but there was still a slight glimmer of hope from this queer girl that maybe it would end happily.

I won't spoil it past that. Like I said, it's not the book's fault I'm really sick of the Tragic Gays trope, or the fact that publishers only seem to find value in books about gay kids that are all about how sad
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, arc
Book Publication date: April 1, 2014
Moon at Nine is a poignant and powerful story about a bookish, strong-willed fifteen year old girl named Farrin who falls in love with Sadira, a new girl at school who understands Farrin better than her distant peers at school or her self-involved parents. Unfortunately, they are living in 1988 Iran where being gay is against the law and punishable by death.

Farrin and Sadira’s budding romance is sweet and lovely, and their situation absolutely heart-rending,
Emma McGrory (Verity Reviews)
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
The fact that this story is based on real events sends shivers down my spine. While my own country is by no means completely open to LGBTQ people, a world where being gay is a crime, and one punishable by death, is foreign to me. I was afraid Moon at Nine would rely on stereotypes in depicting Iran and its people, but it offered a well-researched view of Iranian culture, and the majority of its characters were multi-faceted and interesting.

The storyline moves fairly quickly and doesn't drag, but
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Short but powerful this is the story of two Iranian girks: Farrin and Sadira, who form a friendship which blooms secretly into love in a land filled with secrets and war and revolution and torture for "deviancy against God".

Mostly it reads more as a Middle grade book and often Farrin is not a likeable character but she's very real feeling and the struggles of her and the girls and women of Iran comes through. I just wish it was longer as there was so much more to say; I would have loved more to
Munro's Kids
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I haven't read a Deborah Ellis book in quite a while, though I was a huge fan of The Breadwinner. Moon at Nine was a beautiful story, and in its quality of writing, concern for the culture in question, and careful treatment of an often-overlooked issue, reminded me why I love Deborah Ellis so much. I have read similar YA world "issue" novels, but rarely have they been as satisfying and as gripping as this.
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Deborah Ellis has achieved international acclaim with her courageous and dramatic books that give Western readers a glimpse into the plight of children in developing countries.

She has won the Governor General's Award, Sweden's Peter Pan Prize, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California's Middle East Book Award, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award.

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“She doesn't know where she is going. She doesn't know when the next demons will appear.
But she will keep on walking.
She will follow the moon.”
“Truth is always the most important thing, even when it leads us into dark places.” 5 likes
More quotes…