Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

a cool moonlight

a cool moonlight

Fall 2003 Fiction
Ages: 9 - 11 yrs.
Author: Angela Johnson
ISBN: 0803728468
Hardcover Price: $14.99
Lila is almost nine, and she can't remember the sun. She has a rare sun allergy, xeroderma pigmentosum, that keeps her inside during the day. Home-schooled, she is allowed to play outside at night provided she is totally covered in clothing and wears dark glasses. With few friends, her older sister sometimes includes Lila in night trips into town to meet with college classmates. She does have three playmates, however, David, a kind next- door neighbor, and Alissa and Elizabeth who, at night, crawl under the fence and play in fairy wings.

With empathetic insight into the thoughts and imagination of a child whose life has always been terribly circumscribed, the author reveals the protagonist's strong longing to have friends and to run in sunlight. While Alissa and Elizabeth are gradually unveiled as fantasy friends, Lila's creator helps her come to a hopeful conclusion. Johnson is a comforting, understanding presence underlying her prose.

Diana Huss Green   ©2003 Parents' Choice

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