If I was still in a brick-and-mortar classroom, this book would be a hot commodity. It’s short, high-interest, and engaging. Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson is a great read for upper middle level readers and young adults.
Told from the point of view of fifteen-year-old Laurel, we learn about her mother’s and grandmother’s deaths during Hurricane Katrina and how much her father struggled to rebound afterward. We read about the uncertainty and constant moving and then when they finally land somewhere ready for a fresh start, Laurel meets the wrong people and quickly becomes addicted to meth.
Things get bad fast and it’s heartbreaking to be inside Laurel’s head as she fights the moon, as she calls it, and wrestles with so much pain from her mother’s and grandmother’s deaths. It’s hard to watch.
But there still seems to be hope and that’s what gets you through to the end. You’re still hopeful someone, somewhere can help her. Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson is compelling.