HARPER AND MOON by Ramon Royal Ross


Age Range: 10 & up
Email this review


 Set in Washington's Walla Walla Valley during WW II, a fine second novel about the unusual friendship between Harper, son of a fruit grower, and the somewhat older Moon--inarticulate, half-wild son of abusive parents, orphaned in early adolescence and living no one knows how or where. At 12, Harper discovers the body of Olinger, an old family friend, outside the snowbound mountain cabin where he lived alone. In shock and hypothermic, Harper is rescued by Moon, who--suspected of murdering Olinger--is jailed, but escapes. Harper finds him, near death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and rescues him in turn. Exonerated, Moon finally finds a home in Olinger's cabin. The themes of trust, loyalty, and responsibility here are beautifully developed. There are marvelous set pieces (a summer idyll in the mountains; a scene when Harper is run over by a tractor; another when he finds Moon's life story in dioramas made from bits of wire and paper), and a grand stream-of- consciousness passage depicting Harper's deteriorating mental state after he discovers Olinger's body, as exhaustion and cold take their toll. Vivid storytelling, a rock-solid sense of time and place, memorable, splendidly realized characters: likely to be read in one sitting, under covers by flashlight if necessary. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: April 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-689-31803-0
Page count: 182pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993