Told in verse (meaning in poems), this book tells the story of Mimi, a seventh grader in 1969 who moves across the country from Berkeley, California to Vermont. Mimi is a strong female character who knows what she likes and what she wants to do. She is comfortable with herself and her mixed-race family, even when others want to categorize her. Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton (Lexile: 790; Interest Level: Grades 3-6) takes on the big social issues of the late 1960s, but as they would really look in the life of a seventh grader, and all set up alongside the major news story of the first men landing on the moon. "One small step" is definitely the theme of this story as Mimi sets off to show that people should be friends with good people, despite what they look like, kindness can overcome fear and hatred, and yes, girls should be allowed to use power tools!
I really enjoyed this story, with it's down-to-earth telling of obvious truths in a poetic style: "I am / half mamma, / half papa, / and all me. / Isn't that all anyone needs to know?" (p.10). I am very glad this book has made it to the 2016-2017 Indian Paintbrush Nominee List, as I think everyone should read it! (400 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.