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A Cool Moonlight Hardcover – September 29, 2003

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; First Edition edition (September 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803728468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803728462
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,868,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7-"i don't remember the sun. i don't remember the sun or how my sister, monk, says it warms you up-." So begins Lila's unusual, gentle, almost ethereal narration. She has lived in a reverse world for all of her almost nine years, unable to go out in daylight because of a condition called xeroderma pigmentosum, a "defect that made me sensitive to light. the sun. uv rays. some streetlights." Lila goes to a coffee shop called the Fallen Angel with Monk, 18, in her jalopy and has a nighttime friendship with two girls only she sees. The mysterious, perhaps otherworldly Alyssa and Elizabeth recede as Lila celebrates her ninth birthday in a poignant scene in her backyard. Fireflies gently envelop her, a moment shared and enjoyed by her family and neighbors. Lila gradually accepts that being a "moon girl" is just as good as being a "sun goddess." Recognizing that she is different, that her light is softer than the sun, bolsters Lila's inner strength and ultimate self-acceptance. The writing is lyrical and fluid, and uses no capitalization, but captures a child's feelings. "i feel like i've been eight for practically a hundred years-. if i stay eight any longer, I will have gray hair when I turn nine-." This small, poetic book requires a special reader, but those who meet Lila are likely to remember her.
Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 3-6. Lila has a rare medical condition: sunlight and certain kinds of artificial light can burn her skin and even blind her. Relatively isolated at home during the day, taken out by her loving parents and older sister at night, she has few friends but a rich fantasy life. Lila begins her narrative two months before her ninth birthday, which she sees as a pivotal time. Among those she believes are two imaginary playmates who appear at intervals and encourage Lila's notion that after collecting certain objects, she will magically be able to go out in daylight. Outdoors at her night birthday party, surrounded by family and friends, Lila experiences an epiphany and embraces being "the moon girl with fireflies." Though few readers suffer from Lila's illness, many will recognize the ragged path she consciously takes as she lets go of a fantasy that has sustained her and begins to leave childhood behind. The book's real magic resides in the spell cast by Johnson's spare, lucid, lyrical prose. Using simple words and vivid sensory images, she creates Lila's inner world as a place of quiet intensity--spun gossamer that proves immensely, unexpectedly strong. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Angela Johnson is the author of the Coretta Scott King Honor picture book When I Am Old with You; as well as A Sweet Smell of Roses, illustrated by Eric Velasquez; Just Like Josh Gibson, illustrated by Beth Peck; and I Dream of Trains, which was also illustrated by Loren Long. She has won three Coretta Scott King Awards, one each for her novels Heaven, Toning the Sweep, and The First Part Last. In recognition of her outstanding talent, Angela was named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Kent, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on June 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Because of a rare condition called xeroderma pigmentosum, sunshine and some artificial light have always been eight-year-old Lila's enemy. Sunlight burns her skin and can even cause her to go blind, so Lila lives in darkened rooms and is involved in many nighttime adventures. She sleeps during the day and attends school in her own dim kitchen. She waits each evening for sunset and darkness, when she can go outside to play and explore her neighborhood. Even at night, she must slather herself with sunscreen, wear sunglasses and cover up.
Lila doesn't lack for companions. Monk, Lila's older sister, calls the family "shadow people and proud of it." Monk is Lila's co-adventurer, bundling her sister up at night to take her to coffee houses and on rides. After dark, Lila's dad accompanies her to the grocery store where they race shopping carts in the parking lot. David, a neighbor boy, brings Lila comic books and comradeship. Reading the comic books makes her want to be a super hero called the sun goddess/moon girl.
Lila's friends, Elizabeth and Alyssa, visit her only at night; somehow no one else has met them or even seen them. Her mysterious nocturnal visitors secretly plot with Lila to find a way for her to enjoy sunlight. In fact, they promise to help fill her sun bag. When it's filled, Lila will no longer have to live only in darkness. She can't wait until she's able to go outside during the day and dance in sunshine as a true sun goddess/moon girl.
As time goes by and her ninth birthday approaches, Lila begins to wonder why no one has seen Alyssa and Elizabeth --- even when she points them out. She also puzzles over the sun bag --- how can filling it with sun pieces "fix" her?
This is an intriguing, unusual story told in a graceful, childlike voice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beth Gallego on April 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Nearly-nine-year-old Lila lives in the dark, forced out of the sunlight by a skin condition. She has a plan for getting into the light, though, with the help of two mysterious friends. Who are Alyssa and Elizabeth, and why do they disappear whenever anyone else is around?
Lila's distinctive voice sounds almost like poetry, creating intense images for the reader to share. The characters are intriguing, and Lila's secretive plans will keep older children and adults alike turning the pages.
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By Mrs. Duarte's Class on February 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I liked A Cool Moonlight because there is a girl named Lila that has problems going out in the sun. One day her mom took her out to the playground and when the sun came out she burned her hands. She dreams of going outside to see the sun. Lila always asks her friends Lysa and Elizabeth stuff like how does the sun feel on your face? Lila is happy when she celebrates her birthday, but her party is at night outside. I didn't like the end of the story because it didn't say the disease she had and she was never cured.
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By Brianna Medinas on March 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
this book shows how Lila really wants to go out in the sun without having to be covered in clothes .she doesn't do exactly that but she still does
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