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Who Tells the Moon to Sleep? Paperback – December 10, 2012
About the Author
Since the age of four, Haley Whitehall always wanted to be a writer. She went to Central Washington University and majored in her other favorite subject: history. Now she pairs her two passions into writing historical fiction set in the nineteenth century U.S. Haley loves coffee a little too much. Perhaps that is why she is a night owl. Cats, a good book, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
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It follows a traditional story-telling method, which is repetitive (but not monotonous!) and circular: upon forced to wake early, the girl in the story asks her mother "Who tells the sun to wake?" Her mother explains that the sun wakes when it has slept until no longer sleepy--something the girl cannot fathom. This repeats: "Who tells the cat to eat;" "who tells the beaver to wash;" etc. Finally, the title question, "Who tells the moon to sleep?" The girl wonders how it is that they (the sun, the cat, the moon) are allowed to make such decisions. After her mother explains that it is because they are free, the girl cleverly reasons that, as she is unable to make such decisions she must not be free. It is her first realization that she is, in fact, another human's slave.
At first demoralized, she quickly finds strength in the knowledge that, though her actions can be controlled by another, no one can control her mind, heart, and soul. And with such strength, she vows that one day she will be truly free, with no one to control her.
The girl in the story is very well portrayed. Her inquisitiveness, her desire to play, her distress at the thought of eventual separation from her mother, even her discomfort when hungry, makes her a character that modern children can easily identify with and sympathize with. Slavery was real--it happened to real people--real children. What would that have been like? This story brings that question to our minds.
This book was an excellent read aloud, though at times the subject matter made it hard (emotionally) to continue. The topic of slavery has not been discussed in depth in our household. It is a topic that must be introduced at some point. This book makes that perfect introduction.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.