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What the Moon Saw

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  746 Ratings  ·  153 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
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Wow! Review's coming later.
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
On the back of the paper jacket, a reviewer is quoted as saying that this is "a story that makes me want to be a better person, a story that touched my soul." That appealed to me, although I'd never heard of the author, Laura Resau. (And I don't care for the title.)

The first couple of chapters were okay, but then I was dropped into rural Mexico, which is several hours by primitive road from Oaxaca (pronounced Wa-HA-ca). That's when the story caught my interest. Through the eyes of a 14-year-old
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: required-reading
This book was actually really good! It was a cute, easy read. I liked the story and kind of wish there was a sequel because I'm curious about what happened after it ended!
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
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
High Plains Library District
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jan, children
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
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Marianne Mitchell
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, library
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
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Lovely, charming, accessible magical realism-ish YA.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
What the Moon Saw Quote Sandwich

In this beautiful book called What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau, the author uses very strong imagery to show us the powerful message that change will not happen until you let it, or make a move to change to get what you want. This is shown by using a problematic social issue of poverty. The author portrays this message in various different places using the well used craft move of imagery and, the author also used some symbolism to further deepen the meaning. Althou
Suyash Westbrook
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this beautiful book called What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau, the author uses very strong imagery to show us the powerful message that change will not happen until you let it, or make a move to change to get what you want. This is shown by using a problematic social issue of poverty. The author portrays this message in various different places using the well used craft move of imagery and, the author also used some symbolism to further deepen the meaning. Although the book has many different i ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
What the Moon Saw Quote Sandwich

In this beautiful book called What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau, the author uses very strong imagery to show us the powerful message that change will not happen until you let it, or make a move to change to get what you want. This is shown by using a problematic social issue of poverty. The author portrays this message in various different places using the well used craft move of imagery and, the author also used some symbolism to further deepen the meaning. Althou
Vamos a Leer
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I first read What the Moon Saw two summers ago and absolutely loved it. It’s such a sweet story. It doesn’t have the harshness or grittiness like some of the books we’ve reviewed for Vamos a Leer. It won’t break your heart the way Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe does. Yet, it’s a beautifully written and moving read. I couldn’t put it down.

One of my favorite lines comes early on in the book during a conversation between Clara and Abuela: “The most beautiful things in life are unexpecte
Kush Kapoor
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the book, What The Moon Saw, by Laura Resau, the author uses anecdotes to show readers how immigration impacts the way families are connected, and how one must learn to accept the boundaries of different cultures before learning that it does not restrict them. Generally, when someone close leaves, people grieve before learning to move on. This is beautifully portrayed on page 103 where it says, “ When he left, people cried for days.” Pedro, a village boy, is telling a story about his old teac ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Yadira Cabrera
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
This is my second multicultural book.

“What the Moon Saw” is about a 14 year-old girl named Clara who discovers her roots after a visit to her grandparents’ town in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. The story goes back and forth between Clara’s grandmother’s stories as she was growing up and becoming a healer and Clara adventures as she discovers her true self. Readers can connect to every single part of the book as it is very descriptive and allows the readers to imaging the places and connect t
Jessica Jacobson
This book was a great way to get back into the swing of reading for school. I have really enjoyed the passion, and fire of this story. It really taught me to look at everything with a new perspective.

Clara is the daughter of a Latino businessmen, that works hard for what he has earned. She is having a tough time with school because she "lost" her only friend. On night, she wandered out of the house, but it wasn't her , her spirit lead her to go out into the woods. After Clara's parents found o
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
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
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Its about a girl name Clara Luna, meaning "Clear Moon" in Spanish. In Walnut Hill, she feels like she doesn't belong here. Until one day, her grandparents from Mexico wants Clara to come over for the summer. At first, she was like I'm going to be So Bored! But then she realize that she feels more at home in Yucuyoo than in Walnut Hill. She discovers new talents, fascinating new hobbies, new friends, and a better understanding of what her life means to her and others.

Clara reminds me of myself a
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
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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. My novel Tree of Dreams is coming in March 2019 with Scholastic. I grew up in Maryland, then moved around for ten years (as student, ESL teacher, and anthropologist), making my ...more
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