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What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren
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What the Moon Said

by Gayle Rosengren

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Esther Vogle's family lives in Chicago as the Great Depression starts. When her father loses his job, the family buys a run down small farm in Wisconsin and moves there. The bulk of the story is episodic, telling of life on the farm and in the small community in Wisconsin, but the overarching point of the book is Esther's constant desire to have her mother tell her she loves her, or give her a hug, or a kiss. She is convinced that her mother loves her brother and sisters more than she loves her.
Most of the unpleasant events in the book reach an almost Pollyanna-like happy conclusion rather quickly. A few troubles take longer to resolve, and Esther doesn't get a real answer to the Mother-love question until the end of the book.
I found Rosengren's writing style a little too straightforward and simplistic. She has a good story, and tells it well, but there is no beauty to the language. That is the greatest weakness to the book. ( )
  fingerpost | Mar 4, 2017 |
A ring around the moon is an omen of bad things to come. Ten-year-old Esther doesn’t know whether or not she believes her Ma’s superstitions, but the moon’s warning seems to come true when her father loses his job in Chicago. It is 1930 and the nation is in the grip of the Great Depression. Jobs in the city are impossible to find. After a ling discussion between her patents, the make a big scary decision. Esther and her family use the little savings they have and purchase a farm in Wisconsin to eke a living out of the land. Only father has ever seen the property. When the family finally arrived, it'd bad. There is no electricity or plumbing, but Esther is still excited about the move and the adventure of living little house on the pararie. There are horses and cows and, best of all, a dog. Her parents would never let her have a dog in Chicago.

Not wanting to bring more misfortune, Esther does her best to follow her Ma’s rules. But life is not simple when a sign of bad luck means that Esther must turn her back on the only friend she has. Esther is caught between loyalty to her Ma and her own heart, all while trying to survive the harsh Wisconsin winter.

( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
Esther's (age 9 or 10) Mom does not seem to love her, at least, that's what Esther believes. Her Mom holds onto the old ways from her homeland, Russia. Through a life changing event and some hard times during the depression, Esther learns a lot about love and its many forms. ( )
  mcorbink | Jun 5, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399163522, Hardcover)

Thanks to her superstitious mother, Esther knows some tricks for avoiding bad luck: toss salt over your left shoulder, never button your shirt crooked, and avoid black cats. But even luck can't keep her family safe from the Great Depression. When Pa loses his job, Esther's family leaves their comfy Chicago life behind for a farm in Wisconsin.

Living on a farm comes with lots of hard work, but that means there are plenty of opportunities for Esther to show her mother how helpful she can be. She loves all of the farm animals (except the mean geese) and even better makes a fast friend in lively Bethany. But then Ma sees a sign that Esther just knows is wrong. If believing a superstition makes you miserable, how can that be good luck?

Debut author Gayle Rosengren brings the past to life in this extraordinary, hopeful story.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:32 -0400)

When Esther's family moves to a farm during the Great Depression, she soon learns that there are things much more important than that her superstitious mother rarely shows her any affection.

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