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The Moon Within

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,118 ratings  ·  250 reviews
Celi Rivera's life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend's exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.

But most of all, her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It's an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be p
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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EpicReader8 I suggest contacting whoever was supposed to send this book to you. If it was Goodreads through a Goodreads giveaway, contact them on the Help page. I…moreI suggest contacting whoever was supposed to send this book to you. If it was Goodreads through a Goodreads giveaway, contact them on the Help page. If you can't obtain this book the way you originally planned, you can probably find it through an online bookseller, an in-person bookstore, or your local library, and it may be available as an ebook or audiobook on OverDrive. (less)

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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  1,118 ratings  ·  250 reviews

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Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, poetry
A beautiful, touching, powerful, important novel in verse! As the parent of a queer daughter who struggled with her own physical transformation, I would have loved to have had this book for her. Parents, young girls, and xochihuah everywhere are going to benefit from Aida's moving exploration of difficult but transcendent coming-of-age. ...more
Yamile Méndez
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: january-18
I had the privilege of reading this story still in manuscript form and I’m overcome by admiration, love, and Hope. This is such a needed story that will bless kids’ lives forever. I love it and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world! 💕💕💕
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Splendid. A story in verse about young girl coming into her own body, exploring crushes and feelings, and friendship challenges with her best friend.

- Follows Celi, a Mexican-Puerto Rican girl and dancer, as she navigates puberty and her first period - and her mother wanting to do a moon ceremony (an indigenous Mexica tradition), even though Celi doesn't want the whole world to know about her period.
- Celi's story follows in tandem with her best friend, Marco, who comes out as genderfluid, or xo
NoNieqa Ramos
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A sacred celebratory text that grants every child the right to safe passage in their journey of self discovery. The ancestors smile on this work. Buying a class set ASAP.
Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense)
**I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher which does not influence my review**

The Moon Within, Aida Salazar’s middle grade debut, is a novel I wish I could gift my eleven-year-old self. Celi is on the brink of turning twelve and she, along with the world around her, is changing faster than she can keep track of. Her body is already changing and with it, the promise of a period. Not something she is looking forward to, especially with her mom’s recent interest in their Mexica herit
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, middle-grade
3.5 - The Moon Within is a touching middle grade story about a young girl, Celi Rivera, as she adjusts to her changing body, gets a crush on a boy, and learns what it means to be supportive to her genderfluid best friend. On top of all of this Celi’s mom wants to have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. But Celi is adamant that she doesn’t want to share that experience with her body with other women in the community.

There is a lot of diverse cultural representation in this story. Cel
Ms. Yingling
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

In this novel in verse, we hear Celi's thoughts as she navigates her life in Oakland, California. Her close knit family watches her closely, and her Mima (mother) is sure that Celi will soon require a "moon ceremony" as puberty descends. Celi doesn't want everyone to know this information about her, but her mother is insistent that her daughter not feel shame about her body in the way that she herself did, but instead embraces a version of an Aztec ceremony to celebrate.
Rachel Rickard Rebellino
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is so much to love about this coming-of-age verse novel, including its excellent author’s note that calls readers to thoughtfully engage with the book’s subject matter. Though I found some poems to be less effective than others, The Moon Within is, as a whole, beautifully written, and I was especially impressed by the ways in which Salazar writes about colonialism and reclamation of indigenous rituals and beliefs for a middle grade audience. This book trusts child readers so much, and that ...more
The messages here are good.

But the formatting wasn't my thing. But. I'm not sure I would have liked it any better in prose...

I also would have liked a glossary. There's a fair amount of Spanish and other... non... Spanish but South American languages(?). I found it difficult, so imagine younger readers who are also unfamiliar would find it just if not more frustrating to not understand whole passage and simply rely on context clues, or cave and do wiki walks.
Erin Kelly
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book! Honest, authentic, multi-layered portrayal of a young girl’s coming-of-age and all the conflicts and confusions that come along with it. Bravo, bravo.
Adriana (SaltyBadgerBooks)
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, arc
This was such a great book in body, self love, friendship, family, community, and acceptance. There is so much to say and learn from this book! It's written in verse making it a fast read, but it was amazing. The way she describes the dancing and music, to the way she taps into Celi's inner conflicts. ...more
This is a LGBT Coming to Age Middle Grade Poetry. I have to say there is some parts of this book I really loved, but most of this book I found just ok. I also found this book to be very slow moving. I do not read a lot of Poetry, so that could be the reason I did not love it.
Terry Maguire
Beautiful, lyrical MG novel-in-verse about Celi Rivera, whose coming-of-age includes adjusting to her changing body (and her mother's incessant pointing out of all the changes) and her BFF Magda's (Marco's) growing awareness of her transgender identity. I loved the body positive messages & emphasis on self-love and empathy that are woven into every page. ...more
Mima says I'm flowering early
and it's true, my body is on the way to look like hers
blooming like a flower
I don't want to be.

The Moon Within has so much going for it. I love the frank discussion of normal body parts and processes-- including a (albeit metaphorical) description of a vagina, non-judgemental conversations about menstruation, and the acknowledgement of a young girl's feelings of sexual attraction (in a middle grade book!). A side character realizes that they are non-binary (spec
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, youth
3.5? Celi is dealing with a big crush, her impending period, and her best friend beginning to live his authentic life as genderfluid/xochiuah. I really, really love that there's a book about a menstruation. This is a topic that has been considered taboo for far too long, and it does all children a disservice not to have multiple titles about people going through this very natural and sometimes stressful thing. Celi is a wonderful character, flawing and loving and trying. She makes big, hurtful m ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
this was so stunning, i could cry. this is the book i needed as a preteen.

actual rating: 4.5/5 stars
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book, the first of its kind to me, has come across as an affirmation to my belief in the wisdom of ancestors of various cultures. Rooted in the story is a nod to understanding and honoring the moon ceremony held in the Mexica culture.

Celi's mother wishes to celebrate her coming of age with a small gathering of dear women in the presence of a full moon. However, Celi isn't so sure and feels humiliated at the mere mention of such an event. She is angry at her mama and feels conflicted at the
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a mother of daughters, this book has me rejoicing. As a mother who has a heart for genderfluid and transgender children, this book has me crying. So beautiful! I will be buying multiple copies to gift.
Richie Partington
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, box11
Richie’s Picks: THE MOON WITHIN by Aida Salazar, Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, March 2019, 240p., ISBN: 978-1-338-28337-2

“Menarche is the first menstrual cycle or first menstrual bleeding in female humans. From both social and medical perspectives, it is often considered the central event of female puberty, as it signals the possibility of fertility...The average age of menarche is about 12.5 years in the United States.”
-- Wikipedia

“In the moonlight
Under starlight
Songs old as the night
Are what I
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ALL THE STARS!!!! Thank you to the author and the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book. It was one of my most anticipated middle grade books of 2019, and although its early in the year, I have a hard time believing it won't be on a list of my very favorites at the end of the year.

Celi is at the age where her body is starting to develop into that of a young woman. Her mother is so excited about these changes, and proudly points them out to the family, but Celi is mortified. She wants noth
Phil Jensen
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I wish this was a 150 page book about menstruation. Instead, it's a 220 page book that's mostly about menstruation and partly about the main character's genderfluid friend.

The menstruation and body-positivity parts were great. I love the main character's journey from being freaked out to embracing her body. This topic rarely gets this kind of head-on treatment, so it made for an exciting read.

The genderfluid plotline was cliched. The main character turns her back on her friend due to peer pressu
Vikki VanSickle
Gorgeously written story that truly captures the anger, confusion, anxiety, betrayal, self-centred nature of a girl going through puberty. The language is gorgeous, capturing the rhythm of the drums that Celi loves to dance to, and breathes warm, vibrant life into Celi's world. There are direct references to menstruation, the female body and arousal, something that is extremely rare in contemporary middle grade fiction. Celi is of mixed heritage, and her mother draws on her Mexican, Puerto Rican ...more
Dana Fontaine
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is really a diverse "Are you there God, it's me, Margaret" type of book. I can totally feel for the main character that she was mortified at her mother's insistance on a moon ceremony. This book was pretty true to life. ...more
Elaine Fultz
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some readers will see this sparkling verse novel which honors menstruation as empowering while some others (censors) may try to apply their inevitable label, “pornographic.” Celi Rivera is a multi-racial Latina pre-pubescent (at first) girl whose mother, who is active in a feminist group, is determined to prepare for Celi’s inevitable, “first moon,” with a vibrant Moon Ceremony. The event is to be based on Mexica and other indigineous traditions. Celi is (at first) mortified by the idea of this ...more
Novel in Verse - yes please. Diverse coming of age with first crush, first period, (with ethnic moon ceremony planned - insert 12 yr old eye roll) and your BFF becoming gender-fluid, all really important topics - triple win. Just wanted to preview first for our K-5 library - and I think in the right hands this book could really help so many young kiddos with questions about their body.
Fastest description is a Lantinx modern retake on Are you There God it's Me Margaret?
But with Covid and buildi
Lauren Reed
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I cannot wait for my 12 yr old to begin this middle grade novel in verse authored by a fellow homeschooling mother! “THE MOON WITHIN” is a gorgeous and empowering debut about family and friends, puberty and periods, and cultural and sexual identity. I am so happy to find historically taboo topics being normalized in middle grade literature. Thank you Aida Salazar for this beautiful book and message to children.

“May you find comfort, healing, understanding, and curiosity about your body, your gen
Paige Dillard
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a moving story for middle-grade readers! I loved the challenges that Ceci had to make and the empowerment she felt by the end of the book. I love the beautiful way her story is told, through verse, and also the way that different cultures are represented throughout the story. I recommend to many readers ages 10 and up. Perfect for the LGBTQ community and those of a latino / latina heritage. I loved the character of Mar and the self-acceptance he grows into throughout the story. Definitely a ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was really so lovely. A novel in verse, it explores a girl's experience with getting her period, and her ambivalent feelings about both her changing body and her mother's plan to honor this rite of passage through an ancient/ reclaimed Mexica moon ceremony. Also there are some lovely pieces about her relationship with her best friend, who is going through gender identity changes; as well as the boy she has a crush on. I felt like the book portrayed a lot of realistically imperfect deci ...more
Melody Riggs
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Moon Within is a coming of age in verse story of 11 year old Celi Rivera. The poems are all from her point of view as she navigates her first crush, a mean girl, her friend coming out as transgender, and getting her first period. Given that many girls start menstruating at 11 or younger, I found Celi’s 11 year old voice to be fairly authentic. I was slightly annoyed by the author’s use of other words for female body parts, but other than that, it’s a great read.
Deanna Day
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
2019, Realistic, verse novel, coming of age, family

Celi's body is changing and her mother celebrates these changes even tho Celi is embarrassed about them. She is wearing a bra, growing hair in different places and is waiting to get her period (reminds me of Judy Blume's books from my childhood). I had never compared (or thought) about the moon cycle and a female cycle. Celi has her first boy crush and like any tween wants to have more access to technology (I love that Celi's parents hide the ta
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Availability for the Moon Within by Aida Salazar 1 6 Mar 18, 2018 09:49AM  

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