Alabama Moon (Alabama Moon Series #1)

Alabama Moon (Alabama Moon Series #1)

by Watt Key

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Overview

For as long as ten-year-old Moon can remember, he has lived out in the forest in a shelter with his father. They keep to themselves, their only contact with other human beings an occasional trip to the nearest general store. When Moon's father dies, Moon follows his father's last instructions: to travel to Alaska to find others like themselves. But Moon is soon caught and entangled in a world he doesn't know or understand; he's become property of the government he has been avoiding all his life. As the spirited and resourceful Moon encounters constables, jails, institutions, lawyers, true friends, and true enemies, he adapts his wilderness survival skills and learns to survive in the outside world, and even, perhaps, make his home there. This title has Common Core connections.

Alabama Moon is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429987653
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 08/03/2010
Series: Alabama Moon Series , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 111,813
File size: 347 KB
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Albert Watkins Key, Jr., publishing under the name Watt Key, is an award-winning southern fiction author. He grew up and currently lives in southern Alabama with his wife and family. Watt spent much of his childhood hunting and fishing the forests of Alabama, which inspired his debut novel, Alabama Moon, published to national acclaim in 2006. Alabama Moon won the 2007 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award and has been translated in seven languages. Key's second novel, Dirt Road Home, was published in 2010.
Albert Watkins Key, Jr., publishing under the name Watt Key, is an award-winning southern fiction author. He grew up and currently lives in southern Alabama with his wife and family. Watt spent much of his childhood hunting and fishing the forests of Alabama, which inspired his debut novel, Alabama Moon, published to national acclaim in 2006. Alabama Moon won the 2007 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award, was included on Time Magazine's list of the Best One Hundred YA Books of All Time, and has been translated in seven languages.

Read an Excerpt

Alabama Moon


By Watt Key

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Copyright © 2006 Albert Watkins Key, Jr.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-8765-3


CHAPTER 1

Just before Pap died, he told me that I'd be fine as long as I never depended on anybody but myself. He said I might feel lonely for a while, but that would go away. I was ten years old and he'd taught me everything I needed to know about living out in the forest. I could trap my own food and make my own clothes. I could find my way by the stars and make fire in the rain. Pap said he even figured I could whip somebody three times my size. He wasn't worried about me.

It took me most of a morning to get him into the wheelbarrow and haul him to the cedar grove on the bluff. I buried him next to Momma where you could see the Noxubee River flowing coffee-colored down below. It was mid-January and the wind pulled at my hair and gray clouds slid through the trees and left the forest dripping. I felt the loneliness he'd told me about crawling up from my stomach and into my throat.

I didn't put a cross on the grave. I never knew Pap to believe in things like that. The only way you could make out Momma's grave was the ground that was sunk in over her and 1972 scratched on a limestone rock nearby. I don't remember her face, but I remember somebody else in the bed at night, keeping me warm from the other side. Pap said she reminded him of a yellow finch, which is how she stays in my mind.

I found a rock for Pap and scratched 1980 on it with a nail. After placing it beside the dirt mound, I put the shovel in the wheelbarrow and started back for the shelter. The cedar grove trail was the only one we used enough to wear our tracks into it. It was worn like a cow path from years of walking it with Pap. Not only did he like to come see Momma up on the bluff, but we used it as a main trail to check the northeast trap lines. It had been almost a week since I'd run any of them because I hadn't wanted to leave Pap's side. I was sure the traps were tangled in the creeks, and it only made the sickness in my stomach worse to think that whatever was in them was most likely dead.

Pap had tried to explain death to me, but I couldn't make sense of it. Pap said you passed on and came back as something else. It could be a squirrel or a coon. It could be a fish or an Eskimo. There was no way to tell. The most confusing part of what he told me was that even though he would come back as something else, there would still be a part of the old him that floated around like smoke. This part of him would watch out for me. I couldn't talk to this thing or touch it, but I could write to it. I could make my letters and then burn them, and the smoke would carry my message to him.

When I got back to the shelter, I put the wheelbarrow and the shovel away and went inside. I took off my deerskin jacket and hat, lay down on the pile of hides that we hadn't been able to sell, and stared at the roots in the ceiling. There was always a lot of work to do and no time to rest. But now Pap was dead and things were not the same.

I thought about death again. Most things he told me made sense real quick. You boil steel traps to get the scent off. You overlap palmetto roofing so the rain slides down it. You soak a deerskin for two days and it comes out with two days of softness to it. I could understand these things. But what he said about dying and the smoky messages and his hate for government — they were the hardest ideas for me to understand.

He'd said the government was after us ever since I could remember. The shelter we lived in was set miles into a forest owned by a paper company and was a place no person besides us had any cause to be. Even had someone come by, he would have to just about run into our shelter before he noticed anything unusual. It was one small room built halfway into the ground with low ceilings so that Pap had to stoop to walk inside. The roof was covered with dirt, and bushes and trees grew from the top. Over time tree roots had come down into the shelter and twisted through the logs and made their way into the ground at the edges. Everything that showed above ground was from nature. Even the stovepipe sticking up through the ceiling was encased in limestone.

We practiced with our rifles three times a week. Our windows were narrow slits for shooting through and the trees that you saw out of these windows were pocked and chipped from years of Pap and me practicing a stage-one defense. In stage two we moved into the hole at the back side of the shelter where a muddy tunnel led to the box. The box was about a quarter the size of our shelter and made of steel sheets that Pap took from an old barn. An air pipe went up through the ground and was hidden inside a tree stump. Pap said if we ever moved to stage two, we'd cave the tunnel in behind us. We had dried food and water in the box that would last for a week or more. Pap said a stage two would be hard, but the box was made to keep people alive when things got really bad.

"It would be a while before they'd find us," he'd said.

There were no power lines or roads nearby. Except for the path to the cedar grove, we switched our trails every week so we wouldn't wear our tracks into the ground. We made most of our fires in the woodstove to hide the flame. If we had to make a fire outside, we used the driest wood we could find to cut down on the smoke. We couldn't carry anything shiny in the bright sun in case a plane caught the reflection. Our knife blades kept a thin coat of rust on them for that very purpose. Pap even went so far as to sneak up on his game from the south so that the sound from the rifle shot would be aimed down into the river bottom.

From my place on the hide pile I could hear the birds through the small window slit as the forest grew dark outside. I was used to paying extra attention to the late-afternoon and night sounds. Pap said if the government was coming for us, that's when they'd come. He got nervous and quiet when the sun started dropping. He liked to sit inside the shelter and work on chores that didn't make noise. The two of us sewed, whittled, scraped hides, and repaired traps while we studied the forest sounds. But I didn't do any of these things the afternoon after Pap died. I couldn't. I just balled up like a squirrel and cried.

CHAPTER 2

It seemed like everything started going wrong the summer before Pap's accident. We heard through Mr. Abroscotto, who owned the general store in Gainesville, that International Paper Company had run into hard times and was selling off some of its land. Pap said that the paper company had owned the forest as long as we'd been there and that they were too big to know about us. If they sold out to smaller landowners, we'd likely be found.

I could tell that Pap was worried. He told me that the swimming hole was off limits and that I was to stay close to the shelter unless I was checking traps or getting drinking water. Without the creek to swim in, the days were hotter than any I can remember. We spent afternoons sitting in the shelter, covered with the tannic acid from boiled acorns to keep off the ticks and mosquitoes. Pap had me practice my reading while he carved fish hooks from briars and bound sticks to make catfish traps.

It wasn't two weeks after our visit to Mr. Abroscotto's store that surveyors found our shelter while we were out checking the traps. When Pap and I returned, we saw their orange vests through the trees and we ducked into the bushes and watched them as they walked around the shelter. They stayed there for about an hour, poking at our things. I asked Pap if they were the government, and he said no, but they weren't much better.

"Should we shoot at 'em?"

"No."

"If they're not any better than —"

"When the war comes, you'll know."

"How?"

"I'll tell you."


The next morning, Pap woke me at daybreak. "Get up," he said. "We need to go into town and find out what's happenin'."

I got excited about going to Mr. Abroscotto's. It was the only time I saw any of the outside world. But I was careful not to let Pap know how I felt. He said showing ourselves to outsiders was the most dangerous part of how we lived. One slipup and the law would be all over us. A trip to the store wasn't anything he wanted to see me excited over.

"We gonna take somethin' to sell, Pap?"

"Ain't got time. Get your britches on."

As the sun slipped over the trees, we made the six-mile trip to Mr. Abroscotto's. We used to sell our furs to him, but it had been more than three years since we'd sold any. He said the prices were so low that he lost money just paying for gasoline to get them to Birmingham, where he sold them to companies that made clothes and things out of them. Since then, we had sold him the meat instead, along with vegetables we grew in the garden, and we bought what we wanted of the outside world with the money he gave us.

Most of the journey was through the forest, but the last half mile was on the road to avoid the big swamp. Pap said this was okay because the road was straight and long and we could hear cars coming in either direction before they saw us. We had time to slip down into the ditch and lie still until they passed.

The store was on the outskirts of town, and the only building nearby was a small brick one that Pap said was owned by the power company. We could see a traffic light another half mile up the road which Pap said was the only one in Gainesville. I liked to watch the light as long as I could before Pap hurried me past the gas pumps and into the store. I'd seen a tractor go under the light once and even a yellow school bus.

Mr. Abroscotto was a strong man for somebody his age, like he used to be a logger or a policeman. His skin was dark as leather and his snow-white hair stood out against it. This time he told us that a lawyer named Mr. Wellington had purchased eleven thousand acres from the paper company. The property went from the Noxubee River to the big swamp and from the highway to Major's Creek on the east and west sides. By Mr. Abroscotto's landmarks, I figured our shelter was just about in the middle of Mr. Wellington's property. Pap must have been thinking the same thing. He walked out of the store without even saying goodbye. I hurried after him and had to walk fast to keep up.

"Slow down, Pap."

He didn't answer me.

"Pap?"

He turned quickly and grabbed my arm and jerked me along beside him. "You keep up this time," he said. "Run if you have to."


* * *

A couple of weeks passed before heavy equipment started making a road and a clearing three miles away. Pap was nervous all the time and snapped at me when I made the smallest mistake. He got particular about me stepping on sticks and making noise when we walked through the forest. He kept stopping and touching my shoulder, which meant for me to be still and listen. I could tell by the way he acted that all those workers and equipment meant trouble.

We began to check our catfish traps at night, slipping down the banks of the Noxubee River by moonlight. In the mornings we remained close to the shelter unless we had something special to do. We worked the garden, tending our cucumbers, eggplant, and beets. All of those vegetables, when spaced the right way, grew hidden among the natural forest plants and wouldn't give us away if someone was to come across them. In the heat of the day, we'd get back into the shelter again and stay there until late afternoon. Pap began to watch and listen out the window slits as much as he worked on things. Even my reading began to make him nervous.

"Read to yourself, boy. You're too old to read out loud anymore."


A month later, Pap and I were traveling a trail to the southeast of the shelter to get some red clay for pot making. We were less than a mile from the new clearing when Pap suddenly held his hand up in the air. I knew the signal and stopped. We stood there for several seconds and then, through the whine of mosquitoes, I heard hammering.

"Somebody's makin' somethin', Pap?"

I saw him clench his teeth and narrow his eyes. "Shhh!" he said.

After a few more seconds, Pap continued down the trail.

"What is it, Pap?"

"House."

"Somebody gonna live there?"

"Yeah."

I could tell Pap didn't want to talk about it, so I followed behind him and didn't ask any more questions.

After we heard the hammering, Pap couldn't keep his mind on his chores. He'd get me to working on something at the shelter and he'd say he had to walk off in the woods and tend to things. He was usually gone for a couple of hours. He didn't want me to know where he went, but I knew it was to watch the hammering.

One day he said, "You finish scalin' those fish. I got to go look for somethin' I left down the trail."

"I wanna go, Pap."

"Just a one-man job."

"I've only got two fish left."

Pap stared off at the treetops and bit his bottom lip. "All right," he finally said. "Come on, then."

Pap never meant to look for anything. We slipped through the forest using gallberry and cane for cover until we got to where the house was being built. They had cemented concrete blocks together and run timbers across them for the floor supports. The yard was stacked with lumber for the rest of the framing. I turned to Pap, waiting for him to tell me what it meant. His face was worried pale.

"Gonna be a big house, Pap?" I finally asked.

"Big huntin' lodge," he mumbled.

"I've never seen somethin' built that big."

He nodded his head and motioned for us to head back to the shelter.


We didn't go to the lodge together again. The days began to grow cooler and the breezes told us that fall was arriving. Things had changed between Pap and me. Even though I was with him just about every minute of the day, I didn't feel like he knew I was there. He was far away in thought most of the time, and even though I watched his face, I couldn't get clues to what he was thinking.

We got the steel traps out of storage and oiled them and wired the parts that were broken. The maple leaves had just started to turn and I knew we were over a month away from trapping season. But Pap didn't seem to be doing things in the right order anymore. One day he told me to go gather mulberries. It had been five months since the last mulberry dropped.

"Pap, there's not any mulberries."

"Just do what I tell you," he said.

I waited for a few seconds to see if he would realize his mistake, but he went back to sharpening his knife. I didn't know what to do, so I stepped into the forest and started walking, thinking that if I stayed gone long enough it would convince him that I'd tried my best.

Once I got away from the shelter, it felt good to be on my own again after such a long time staying close to Pap and feeling his worries. I looked up into the trees and studied the yellows and reds of the changing leaves. The birds flitted about and made shrill cries from deep in the bush. It felt like I could breathe easier, and the smells of cedar and stinkbugs flowed into my nose.

Without meaning to, I wandered within hearing distance of the lodge. Once the sound of power tools and hammers reached my ears, I was too curious not to slip closer for a better look.

The workmen had moved a house trailer onto the site, and they seemed to be living in it. More lumber was stacked in the yard, along with roofing material and bricks. The lodge was already framed two stories high. I wanted to stay and watch the men working, but Pap's warnings about contact with outsiders started to play in my head. I crept back into the forest and took a different trail to the shelter.

Pap was sitting outside, weaving a basket from muscadine vine when I walked up. I stood in front of him, ready to tell him why I didn't have any mulberries, but he didn't ask about them or anything else.

Finally I said, "They're puttin' walls on that lodge, Pap."

His fingers stopped and he looked up at me. "I don't ever want you goin' near it again."

"But it's not even finished."

"I don't care. You heard what I said."

"You think maybe when the lawyer moves in we could talk to him and he'd let us stay on?"

Pap looked at me again. "I don't know, son! Why don't you get back to work and forget about that lawyer and his business."


* * *

As fall passed, the leaves began dropping from the trees and the forest canopy became a solid green fan of pine needles. We pulled our deerskin jackets from between the cedar boards and waterproofed them with mink oil for the season. The carrots would stay in the ground for a while longer, but the other garden vegetables needed to come out before the first frost. I was always excited about the last harvest of the year because I knew it meant we'd go to Mr. Abroscotto's store to sell whatever we had.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Alabama Moon by Watt Key. Copyright © 2006 Albert Watkins Key, Jr.. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Alabama Moon 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 78 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My teacher read it to te class and i highly reccomend to anyone!!!!!!!! It is a amazing and soon to be classic survial story just AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it read it in 4th grade and so good!!! Its a have to read!!!!! :)
Shawn Govern More than 1 year ago
even if i dont own it on my nook i really loved this book. i felt the pains and joys that the character did. this book is the bomb and so worth the money that you unfortunately pay. read it...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My teacher is reading this in class. Pretty good so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I htink this book is incredible this book will be the best book i have ever read in all these years laiteraly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read it for school. It is a GREAT book and i would HIGHLY reccomend it!!!!!!!!! :D
Mythicalreader More than 1 year ago
This book deals with outdoor adventure, survival, friendship and growing up all in an exciting combination. This book will warm any reader's heart while showing that compassion is needed for those around us. The author give us an inside view of one young man's journey into a new society and how his every day obstacles are dealt with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is suppose to be for young adults. Well, I'm 43 and I LOVED every minute of it. I was looking for something different to read and I sure found it. It's a sweet, sad, funny book.
I hope it's made into a movie. I will be seeing this one for sure. Enjoy!!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Watt Key has introduced an unforgettable character in ten-year-old Moon Blake. He has lived in the wilderness with his father for as long as he can remember. Moon's father is anti-government and they live a reclusive life, surviving on what they can trap and raise with just an occasional trip to the little country general store. When Moon's father suffers a broken leg, and refuses to seek medical help, his subsequent death leaves Moon alone. Moon manages to see to his wilderness burial, but following his father's instructions to go to Alaska and find others that live their way of life is more difficult. While Moon is very resourceful, he doesn't understand the ways of the modern world and has no idea where Alaska is, or how to get there. The attorney that recently purchased the land where Moon and his father lived believes that he is doing the best thing for Moon, and turns him over to a boys home.

Moon is determined to escape and so he and two other boys manage steal a bus and run away. Moon's survival skills keep them one step ahead of the abusive and determined constable and out of jail. Moon has a chance to learn firsthand about what friendship means and to be able to interact with boys his own age for the first time. The boys are very sympathetic characters...even the bloodhound sent to track them down decides to join them.

Moon begins to question the lessons his father taught him about how bad the government is and to question even his father's lifestyle. Moon is a character that I'll never forget. This action-packed story is filled with chases, captures, and escapes. If you want to encourage reluctant readers, give them this exciting first novel by Watt Key. I'm hoping for another story...Moon is just too good a character to not have a sequel.
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Survival adventure! Moon Blake has lived in the Alabama forest with his anti-government father for as long as he can remember, hunting and gathering food and making rare trips to a small general store to trade for supplies they can't make themselves. Moon's father breaks his leg and before he dies he tells Moon that he must get to Alaska, where there are "more people like us." Moon buries his father, packs up the wheelbarrow and walks out into the world -- a place he is definitely not prepared for. He runs into a sadistic constable, and is placed in the Pinson Boys Home (more like prison for juveniles) where he is officially listed as property of the state. Moon finds two true friends there, engineers a wild nighttime escape, and ends up back in the forest, hunted by the vicious constable who's now accused him of attempted murder (and eating his dogs). For a kid who knows absolutely nothing about how the world actually works, Moon figures out how to apply the skills of wilderness living to the outside world, and the good and bad people who live in it. Lots of humor, action, wonderful detail about life in the woods, and unforgettable characters! A movie version's been filmed, but not released yet. 7th grade and up.
samanthawarren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great boy read--especially for those Paulsen lovers. I am not a huge Paulsen fan, and I read the book in almost one sitting. Great characters and your heart goes out to Moon. Very realstic setting and conflict.
ewyatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Moon is a ten-year-old who has been raised in a shelter in the middle of the forest by his survivalist, anti-government father. When his dad breaks his legs, refuses to leave the forest for medical attention, and then dies, Moon is left alone with his father's dying words that he should go to Alaska. He is taken to a boys home and has his first of many run-ins with the increasingly sadistic, vengeful Constable Sanders. He somehow manages an escape with all the boys in the boys home - this kid not only knows everything about surviving in the wilderness, he may be a long lost relative of McGyver (please excuse the 1980s TV reference). Ultimately, Moon connects with some other boys, Hal and Kit, and finds an unlikely ally in a wealthy lawyer. This was a strangely compelling book, but at times it also struck me as a bit out there. There was something really unsettling about Moon, like an absolutely wild child out of place in the modern world. I did learn somethings about natural living, and ultimately I wished Moon a life where he could find a family to care for him.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Okay, this book made me almost cry many times (and I was at work so I couldn't cry, otherwise I would've). It's about a boy who is living in the forest with his dad, apart from civilization. His dad dies and tells him he should head to Alaska to avoid being caught by the government. However, Moon ends up in a boys' school for a while until he decides to break out. He starts to learn that the world isn't really the way his pa saw it. Overall, it was a moving story that really went straight to your heart.
alice443 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book very engaging and enjoyable. Young Moon's experience living in the wilds, living as a survivalist, losing his father and on his own and under state care shows both the positive and negatives of trying to go solo without being preachy.
Lena.Reed_BoB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a boy named Alabama Moon. He is very intelligent but is concidered an outlaw because his father and himself was living in protected area in southern Alabama. He is sent to a state home, where the "bad boys" go. He runs away from the state home with two friends and 1 dog. He makes it to California and stays with a family.I like this book because it contains adventure and it is very breath-taking. I would share this book to any number of people, who are able to accept a book that is not only sad but uplifting when you are sad. I recommed this book to those who are very suspiable to reading adventurous book and accept people for who they really are.
rata on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a brilliant book that allowed me as a reader to experience so many emotions. While There were various storylines interwoven, the story did not get lost and i found it enjoyable from start to end. At times I was crying, laughing, questioning, angry, aas well as feeling maternal towards Moon and the various characters. A great read.
ALelliott on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Moon Blake has always lived in the wilderness alone with his pap. Able to survive completely on their own, Moon and his father build shelters, hunt and trap animals, and make their own clothing. Then suddenly, Moon¿s father is injured and becomes critically ill. Though Moon knows a lot about folk and herbal medicine, he is soon left alone to fend for himself. Even worse, a big city lawyer has begun building on the property that Moon and his father called their own, and Moon knows it¿s only a matter of time before he will have to leave.Sure enough, authorities soon come to take him away to a boys¿ home, authorities that include the sadistic Constable Sanders. Moon¿s inability to understand the ways of the outside world soon put him on Sanders¿s bad side. Luckily, at Pinson, the boys¿ home, Moon quickly makes friends who help him break out. He and his band of ¿lost boys¿ head into the Talladega forest, where Moon promises to teach them all how to survive in the wilderness. Frightened by exposure and the sheer vastness of the forest however, most of the boys end up staying behind, leaving Moon with only two friends: Hal, the stubborn leader and Kit, the faithful follower. For a while, the three live very happily in the woods, and Moon thinks he¿s finally settled. But soon, Kit¿s health takes a turn for the worse, and then Sanders shows up, looking for the boys. It¿s then that Moon realizes that his life has truly changed, and he is going to have to make a life-and-death decision.Filled with tidbits about survivalist information, this novel is sure to appeal to middle school kids of all stripes, especially boys. Moon is a tough kid, but with a heart of gold. He¿s not out to hurt anyone, but he also has no idea why the world works the way it does. He has been brought up with the idea that the government is out to get him, and the only thing he can do is hide out far away from civilization. But the kind people he meets slowly show him otherwise. Reading about his slow realization that maybe his dad wasn¿t as sane as he seemed is both a relief and a heartbreak. Teens will cheer on Moon as he rebels against all types of authority, but will also understand why he eventually needs to submit and find a new life in the city. And Sanders is a frightening and disturbing villain who gets his comeuppance in the end.The book is filled with lush descriptions of the wilderness that Moon cherishes, but is a quick-paced read. Key is particularly good at capturing Moon¿s loneliness. Students will gobble the book up to find out if Moon survives, first when he is by himself, and later when he is saddled with two friends who mean well but have no clue what they are doing. There is some mild cussing, but it lends authenticity to already strong character voices. Overall, a fast-paced adventure story that middle schoolers will really enjoy, even if they have never set foot in a campsite.Grades 7-10
oapostrophe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Moon Blake is 10 years old and since the age of two has been living with his father in the woods. Moon's father has taught him how to take care of himself. He can build shelters, hunt and forage for food, make his own clothes, and stay hidden. His father doesn't believe in government. When Moon asks his dad why they live out in the woods alone his dad says, "Because we never asked for anything and nobody ever gave us anything. Because of that, we don't owe anything to anybody." The only contact they have with the world is with a local store owner to whom they sell vegetables they've grown.But all that changes when first, the land they are living on is sold, and Moon's father dies. Now he's truly on his own and this is the story of Alabama Moon.There is great detail in the descriptions of the day to day skills needed to survive. The choices that Moon has to make, and the obstacles he encounters along with the unlikely friendships make this an exciting read. Moon is a strong and resourceful boy with a lot of character. As he narrates the story I felt right there with him as he met his challenges. I'd recommend this to 5th and up.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alabama Moon is the story of a 10 year old boy who has been raised in the forest by his survivalist father. Moon, as he is called, can gather food, build shelter, find his way in the woods but he has no experience with other people or civilization. When his father dies, and he is left on his own, he has no idea of who to trust and gets on the wrong side of the law. Unfortunately the lawman he comes in contact with is a small-minded bully. Moon is taken to a boy¿s juvenile home from which he shortly escapes from.Moon does not escape alone but takes along a couple of the boys, as he has learned that loneliness is the one thing he can¿t cope with. He and his two friends encounter all kinds of difficulties and heartbreak before Moon discovers that there are adults that are willing to help him and guide him to a place of safety and belonging.Set in the 1980¿s I thought this was an interesting and entertaining look at what happens to the children of these survivalists that leave civilization to escape from any kind of government control. A easy YA read, with a fairly predictable storyline, but with a strong, scrappy main character that you grow to care about.
dcoward on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A 10 year old boy raised by his survivalist father plans to go to Alaska to live with other "government haters" after his father dies. He starts to questions some of his father's teachings along the way, and is stalked by a scary policeman. Fun book, my 64 year old father called it one of the best books he's read all year.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
10-year-old Moon Blake has been raised to live off the land by his father who hates and fears the government. When Moon's father dies, he must survive on his own. He decides to go to Alaska where his father has told him there are more people like them - people who hate the government. Moon is caught and sent to a boys' home, but he escapes and sets off for Alaska, this time with two boys accompanying him. As Moon gets used to being around other people, he starts to question his father's vehement hatred of the government and he has to make up his mind about whether he still wants to live outside of society. A survival-adventure story that will appeal to fans of Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain, this historical fiction book takes a look at the moments when children start to question the truths by which they were raised. I was frustrated with some of the characters and I wish there had been an author's note to explain what inspired Key to write the story and why it was set in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son read it in school, hes in the sixth grade. He talked me into reading it, I enjoyed the book. Something I would give any child to read, it action packed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yay
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best boook eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever and forever