Books by Martha Moore

MATCHIT by Martha Moore
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 9, 2002

Sometimes all it takes is for one person to believe in you, and Matchit finds that person in an unlikely place, an automobile junkyard. Abandoned by his mother when he was just a baby, Matchit has been raised by a disinterested and irresponsible father, leaving him feeling angry and worthless. His father's latest scheme finds Matchit left at the junkyard to stay with Babe, while he travels halfway across the country with Jewel, his new girlfriend. Babe immediately takes Matchit in, treating him as if he is the smartest and most talented boy in the world. Confused, Matchit initially resists the attention, but odd friendships with a pigeon, the local junkyard artist, and a taxidermist slowly help Matchit to defeat the voices in his head, leaving him with a sense of hope for the future. Desperate for love but scarred by his past, Matchit's rage and sorrow are palpable as he acts out against anything or anyone that tries to get close to him. Glimpses at his internal dialogue include the reader in Matchit's personal struggle as he attempts to overcome years of emotional abuse to find the one thing that he cannot bear to lose—himself. Successfully powerful without being didactic. (Fiction. 8-12)Read full book review >
ANGELS ON THE ROOF by Martha Moore
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

From Shelby's point of view, her mother Zoe is impossible: She's uprooted them so many times Shelby has lost count, and develops temporary obsessions, like decorating the living room with pages from a Georgia O'Keeffe calendar. Worst of all, she will not speak about Shelby's father. Then Zoe, after a dream, takes Shelby to Red Valley, where Zoe's foster mother, Aunt Onie, lives. Shelby resists and resents the trip, but in odd Aunt Onie's peculiar house and among her derelict possessions, she finds some long-buried truths. Moore (Under the Mermaid Angel, 1995, etc.) does a remarkable job of capturing a ninth-grader's aversion to her mother's seemingly capricious ways; readers don't see the method in Zoe's madness until the final, painful revelations in the last chapter. Aunt Onie's bird carvings and her personal memories of ``Miss O'Keeffe'' figure prominently in the narrative, which captures the desolation and beauty of the Texas landscape. A strong story, whose outwardly fragile protagonists possess reserves of steel to carry them through to the end. (Fiction. 12+) Read full book review >
UNDER THE MERMAID ANGEL by Martha Moore
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

Jesse, 13, finds growing up in a trailer park in Ida, Texas rough. She is without friends her own age, and nurses a secret grief: Years ago, when her baby brother got sick, her mother told Jesse to pray for his recovery, but she didn't. Jesse's outlook changes when quirky, red-haired Roxanne, 30, moves in next door. She's had time to learn some of life's hard lessons and soon becomes Jesse's best friend, passing along her wisdom and her capacity for love to the younger girl. The winner of the 12th annual Delacorte Prize for a First Young Adult Novel displays shining moments. Jesse, Roxanne, Mr. Arthur, and Jesse's sister, Doris Ray, are well-developed, original characters, but Jesse's peers at school are more one-dimensional. While Jesse's first-person narration generates both humor and pathos, some of her actions ring false, too obviously serving only to further the plot. Nevertheless, a fine first effort, eccentric and funny. (Fiction. 12+) Read full book review >