Talking to the Moon
by Jan L. Coates
Red Deer Press, 2018
$12.95 (sc), 332 pp, ages 10 – 14
Set in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Talking to the Moon is the story of Katie, a young girl on the autism spectrum, who while on vacation with her foster mother, begins a quizzical search for the histories of two young girls who arrived in the province 260 years before. Through the people she meets, several new friends, and some old letters and artifacts, Katie may be learning more than she bargains for. Maybe there might be clues to her own family history and the identity of the mother who had abandoned her long ago. Told from Katie’s point of view, Talking to the Moon offers the young reader insight into the often confusing and also awesome clarity experienced by children on the spectrum.
Classroom Connections: Talking to the Moon is structured to expose Katie’s thinking process as she navigates an average day in dealing with others, uses literature to make reference points, understands metaphor through specific personal references and remembrances of other friends back home with autism. Teachers could use this novel to teach about equity in the classroom and society, to expose students to the issue of autism, and to demonstrate that a seeming disability might really be none other than a different way of perception and navigating daily life. It might even be a starting point to encourage students to share and discuss their own experiences with having or encountering people with disabilities.
Review by Kent Miller.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Winter 2019 issue.