UNHOOKING THE MOON by Gregory Hughes
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 11 - 13
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Two Canadian children take on the Big Apple in this deliciously unlikely, unbridled romp.

Astonished to hear that their father had a drug-dealing brother in New York, newly orphaned Bob and his live-wire little sister, Marie Claire (aka Rat), hitchhike to the city from Winnipeg. For lack of a better plan, they wander Manhattan and the Bronx asking passersby if they know him. This strategy leads to encounters with a host of colorful city types, notably a pair of softhearted con men and a lonely rising rap star, plus plenty of terrific street theater and nights spent sleeping in, alternately, Central Park and a hyperluxurious apartment. And ultimately the children’s search is successful! Their information about Uncle Jerome is even (more or less) accurate, as he turns out to be the CEO of a huge pharmaceutical company. Though many of Hughes’ characters will sink emotional hooks into readers, Rat takes and earns center stage by glibly charming the pants off every adult, showing a winning mix of quick wits and vulnerability, and taking wild flights of imagination—her explanation of the (subtle) differences between a Windigo and a pedophile being a particular highlight. So appealing are they that when one of them suffers a tremendous blow, readers will feel it as intensely as the other characters. The dizzying highs intensify but also ameliorate that devastating low.

Rousing adventures on the not-so-mean streets, with heart aplenty. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62365-020-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Quercus
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2013


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