The Sorrow of a Crescent Moon by J Wagoner
On a family trip to New Orleans, Jamie gets the chance of a lifetime. While wandering around a store their first night there, he meets a strange woman who seems to look through him instead of at him. She says he is special, and asks him if he would like to see her city the way she does. Shy and uncertain of what to say, Jamie accepts the gift she gives him- a smooth, blank rock. She tells him to sleep with it under his pillow and keep it with him at all times. With dreams of becoming the superhero he has always wanted to be (and picking out cape colors) he does as he is told. When he looks at his rock the next morning he realizes it is no longer blank- it says “FAMILY.” Thinking it was a trick rock he laughs it off…until he starts seeing shadows of seemingly ordinary people. Each new day brings a new word and new shadows. Listening in on the conversations between his shadow and others, he learns things about the world that sometimes he wished he hadn’t, but he also learns that no matter how bad things get, there is always hope.
The Sorrow of a Crescent Moon is a book that, even though it is billed as a children’s book, works for all ages. It covers some heavy topics (like depression, homelessness, death, etc.) but it does it in a way that is gentle enough for children. It also helps adults remember to be understanding, compassionate, and hopeful. The story is packed full of morals and lessons that we all want our children to learn. Wagoner has made the 8-year-old main character someone we can all relate to and appreciate. Jamie is wide-eyed, innocent and genuine. He is shy, quiet, and uncertain, but mostly he thinks life is good. So when he sees the pain and sadness that others have he begins to question how fair life really is and whether or not it is worth it. He also begins to hate his new ability and doesn’t want to see more suffering. As an adult reading this book you are reminded of a child’s innocence. As a child reading this book you are learning the same lessons Jamie is.
To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.