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Racing The Moon    by Michelle Morgan order for
Racing The Moon
by Michelle Morgan
Order:  USA  Can
Allen & Unwin, 2015 (2015)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

Adolescence isn't easy under the best of circumstances. But add in the global reach of the Great Depression and it's even tougher, especially for twelve year old Australian, Joe. But this coming-of-age story goes far beyond trying to make ends meet during rough economic times.

Joe's family, with an abusive father, is involved in an illegal gambling ring. And Joe dabbles in some gambling of his own ... and gets caught. This is when his troubles really begin. Off to St. Bart's boarding school he goes, with disastrous consequences. As if the bullying weren't enough, Joe has to ward off attempts at sexual assault by one of the Brothers.

After defending himself against the Brother (in some rather effective ways, I might add) Joe is off to The Farm, a reform school in the middle of nowhere, run by nuns. Free from the advances of Brother Felix and the bullying, Joe works harder than he ever has and finds an inner peace he wouldn't have otherwise.

As he grows, Joe learns about racing the moon. I have come to think of racing the moon as both a literal and metaphorical event. Is racing the moon a physical manifestation of growing up and overcoming the harshest of circumstances? You'll just have to read and decide for yourself.

I really enjoyed this novel and how the author handles sensitive and frighteningly dark topics with both sensitivity and humor. That said, the darkness of this novel makes it most suitable for older readers, ages twelve and up.

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