Grade 3-6–In this novel based on the author's childhood in the 1950s, Libby, an engaging and feisty girl, moves from New York to London with her parents and three younger siblings. Her first school in London is a less-than-positive experience–the children tease her, and even the teacher is unkind. But things look up when she is sent to Sibton Park, a boarding school in the countryside, where everyone is nicer. Koponen is a gifted writer whose distinctive style has a conversational rhythm from frequent use of colons, dashes, and the like. She is especially good at describing what to modern children will seem like a very different time, with adults thoroughly in charge and children expected to sit quietly while the grown-ups talk. The author is very good at a kind of straightforward subtlety, an asset in a quiet book whose main focus is on emotions. The book's visuals are another asset, with small photos placed throughout, showing the author's childhood letters, pictures from her favorite fairy tales, the ship her family sailed on to England, and more. As a novel, the story lacks dramatic tension, especially after Libby leaves her first English school, but overall this is a thoughtful and interesting book.–Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
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*Starred Review* Gr. 3-6. Delightful is a word that is overused in reviews, but it's difficult to find one that's more appropriate for this novelized memoir--though warm and cozy would do in a pinch. During the 1950s, Koponen's family moves to London. Leaving America is difficult, and life is no easier there. A fan of boarding-school stories, Libby jumps at the chance to go away to Sibton House in the English countryside, where she does make friends, learns to ride a horse, and is noticed for her writing talent. This seems to be a book that first-time author Koponen has waited a lifetime to write. Almost every page is dotted with photos or souvenirs, but more intriguing than the visuals are the images she offers of herself: a bit of a swaggerer who proudly informs the Brits about the Boston Tea Party but a girl who can also appreciate the silvery light of the English countryside. Today's readers, especially Harry Potter fans, will love the British bits and the details of boarding-school life. One thing will surprise them. Having read about Libby's taking the Tube alone and going off to school by herself, they'll assume she is 11 or so. When she matter-of-factly states she was 8 during her time in England, they'll more clearly grasp the idea of a simpler time. Ilene Cooper
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This had been a very inspiring read. Libby is a talented writer and I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn something new with her memoir. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Claire
This young adult book had more examples of what the Brits say or won't say,or what they do or wouldn't do in several situations than any other book that I have ever read. Read morePublished on March 3, 2013 by C. Hall
We chose this book as one of our family read together, aloud, before bed selections. I absolutely loved this book as did my two daughters, 8 & 10. Read morePublished on March 16, 2010 by mom
Libby Koponen's 1950s childhood was given an exciting spin when her family moved to England for a year and a half. Read morePublished on March 15, 2008 by Linda Bulger
I love this book. It reminds me of being a kid again. I forgot what it was like until I read this book. I can't wait for Ms. Koponen to write another book. Read morePublished on August 16, 2007 by Julia Rivera
Libby Koponen's novel Blow Out the Moon is based on her own experiences growing up. She includes photographs and drawings throughout the book. Read morePublished on July 6, 2006 by Armchair Interviews
This is the story of Libby, a young American girl who lives in England for a year and a half. She is naturally independent and spunky, yet learns that being polite means caring... Read morePublished on February 1, 2006 by Suzanne
I am in awe. Libby Koponen's Blow Out the Moon drew me in from the first page and kept me fully engaged until the end. Read more