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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Review: Ginny Moon: A Novel by Benjamin Ludwig

Ginny Moon: A Novel
by Benjamin Ludwig
May 2, 2017
368 pages
Publisher: Park Row Books 

Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.

“A brilliant debut.” —Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Project

“A triumphant achievement.”—Library Journal, starred review

“A heartwarming and unforgettable page-turner.”—Booklist, starred review 

“A powerful affirmation of the fragility and strength of families.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

See the world differently.

Ginny Moon is mostly your average teenager. She lives in a blue house on a quiet street with kind, protective parents. She plays the flute, attends basketball practices, and reads poetry in English class.

Everyone tells Ginny that she should feel happy.

But before Ginny arrived at the blue house, she spent years living in danger. And though her world is a much better, safer place than it was before, Ginny is desperate to escape—to get back to where she came from.

Because something heartbreaking happened there—something that only Ginny knows—and nothing will stop her from going back to make it right…

Ginny Moon is an illuminating look at the life of one autistic girl’s journey to find her way home. In this stunning debut, author Benjamin Ludwig gives a voice to the voiceless, reminding us that often we only hear those who speak the loudest, and there’s much to be learned by opening up our ears and our hearts.

A feel good story wrapped in anguish and frustration.

I usually prefer reads that take me away from the everyday stress of life. We are so bombarded these days with frustrating and depressing information, I tend to shy away from books that may elicit more of the same? But I was given an advanced copy to review and was intrigued by the description. I had thoughts of "Wow, do I really want to read this?" It was definitely not a "Calgon, take me away" story.

Although fictional, I am sure the author used many emotions and trials of his everyday activities to round out this very captivating tale of an autistic teenager adopted by a couple who thought they were prepared to deal with her very special needs.

The first couple chapters had me engrossed in the writing and the story line. Told in first person style of an autistic teenager, I was taken in by the raw emotion it evoked. Not only was Ginny autistic but had been put in the foster system after abuse and neglect by her mother. The author stayed true to the writing style till the very end and although there were times I thought I would tire of the frustrating dialogue within the mind of Ginny, I had to keep going to discover the outcome.

If you know anything about the autistic mind, it makes sense but still no less frustrating. I applaud the author for trying to interpret what Ginny was thinking because I believe only another autistic person could truly understand and relate on that level. He did a great job of showcasing the "Forever" family's interactions and feelings in dealing with Ginny. I felt the emotion and frustration on all sides. If you are looking for a little insight on autism or are dealing with something similar, this book might shine some light on the do's and don'ts of the very real day to day life of the families living with these amazing but so misunderstood children.

4 "insightful" sheep!

Jeanie G

About the Author:
A life-long teacher of English and writing, Benjamin Ludwig lives in New Hampshire with his family. He holds an MAT in English Education and an MFA in Writing. Shortly after he and his wife married they became foster parents and adopted a teenager with autism. The Original Ginny Moon is his first novel, which was inspired in part by his conversations with other parents at Special Olympics basketball practices.

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