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Me (Moth)
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Me (Moth)
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FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATUREA debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen...
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATUREA debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen...
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  • FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE
    A debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen boy who crosses her path.

    Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.
    Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he'll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.
    Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.
    Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Amber McBride teaches English literature at Northern Virginia Community College and has a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her work has been published in Ploughshares, Provincetown Arts, Decomp and more, and Me (Moth) is her debut novel. McBride lives in Charlottesville, VA.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 28, 2021
    Two years after a devastating car accident killed her family as they drove from New York to northern Virginia, aspiring dancer Moth, the Black granddaughter of a Hoodoo root worker, is still navigating the accident’s fallout, which includes a mark on her face “as crisp as the tip of a whip from jaw to eye.” Poignant free verse details her resignation to a “bland” existence in the suburbs, where she’s ignored by classmates and her aunt Jack, who has developed an alcohol reliance. When a new student—talented Navajo musician Sani—shows up in her junior homeroom class, Moth finds a kindred spirit whose similarly painful past and physically abusive stepfather compound his depression. Desperate for a change, Moth and Sani embark on a road trip out west to the Navajo Nation, where Sani’s biological father lives. As the two travel, visiting national landmarks that connect them to the ghosts of their ancestors, a tender love story unfolds, one that debut author McBride skillfully renders while covering serious topics such as grief and mental health, including suicidal ideation. Ages 12–up. Agent: Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Literary.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2021
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Moth lost her entire family in a car crash last summer, leaving her feeling invisible and unwanted in her aunt's home. But then she meets Sani, a half Navajo, half white boy with hair like a waterfall, struggling with a broken family, suppressed desires, and his mental health. Though no one else seems to pay Moth any attention, Sani sees her for what she is--beautiful, broken, and yet still so worthy of life's offerings. Together, the two steal away on a summer road trip, sharing the dreams they keep hidden and the spiritual practices they have in common. But when they reach Sani's motherland, the tribal lands of the Navajo Nation, a shocking yet obvious revelation rears its head. Though the traditions are distinct on their own, McBride artfully weaves Black Southern hoodoo traditions with those of the Navajo/Din� people, creating a beautiful and cross-cultural reverence for the earth, its inhabitants, and our ancestors. Readers will be consumed by the weight of McBride's intentionality from road trip stops to the nuance of everything that goes unsaid. Written in verse, this debut novel is hauntingly romantic, refusing to be rushed or put down without deep contemplation of what it means to accept the tragedies of our lives and to reckon with the ways we metamorphosize as a result of them. An excellent choice for lovers of poetry and for those who see the beauty in sadness.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2021

    Gr 8 Up-This searing debut novel-in-verse is told from the perspective of Moth, a Black teen whose life changed forever the day a car crash killed her family. Once a dancer who lived so hard she drank the sun, now she lives quietly with her aunt Jack in suburban Virginia. She no longer dances and is struggling with the guilt of her family's deaths. But then she meets Sani, a Navajo boy who lives with his white mother and abusive white stepfather and really sees Moth. Sani gave up making music after leaving New Mexico and takes pills to clear his mind. Summer arrives, and the two take off on a road trip out west, back to the reservation where Sani's Navajo father lives. Along the way, their stories entwine. Sani recounts the origin story of the Navajo, and Moth shares about her grandfather who taught her hoodoo. Like a moth in a cocoon, they each find themselves on the edge of transformation on their journey. Each free verse poem is tightly composed, leading into the next for a poignant and richly layered narrative. The story builds softly and subtly to a perfect, bittersweet ending. Fans of Jacqueline Woodson won't be able to put this one down. VERDICT Earnest, surprising, and with a little magic, this book is a must purchase for all teen collections.-Erica Ruscio, Ventress Memorial Lib., Marshfield, MA

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Journal, starred review
    "This searing debut novel-in-verse is told from the perspective of Moth, a Black teen whose life changed forever the day a car crash killed her family. ... Each free verse poem is tightly composed, leading into the next for a poignant and richly layered narrative. The story builds softly and subtly to a perfect, bittersweet ending. Fans of Jacqueline Woodson won't be able to put this one down."
  • Buzzfeed "With unmatched lyrical writing and a powerful plot, McBride is an absolute must-read author."
  • Joanne V. Gabbin, Director, Furious Flower Poetry Center

    "Me (Moth) holds you like a gentle haint, pulling you in and out of song, and dance, and dreams until you are not sure where reality ends and memory begins. Amber McBride in her young adult debut has written a marvelous novel in verse full of ancestor wisdom and love that traverses crossroads that we must navigate to live."

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