Excerpt from Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Ginny Moon

by Benjamin Ludwig

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig X
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
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  • First Published:
    May 2017, 368 pages
    Dec 2017, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Ginny Moon

6:54 at Night, Tuesday, September 7th

The plastic electronic baby won't stop crying.

My Forever Parents said it's supposed to be like a real baby but it isn't. I can't make it happy. Even when I rock it. Even when I change its diaper and give it a bottle. When I say ush, ush, ush and let it suck on my finger it just looks dumb and screams and screams and screams.

I hold it close one more time and say, Nice and gentle, Nice and gentle, in my brain. Then I try all the things that Gloria used to do whenever I went ape-shit. After that I put my hand behind its head and move up and down on my toes. "All better. All better," I say. From high to low like a song. Then, "So sorry."

But still it won't stop.

I put it down on my bed and when the crying gets louder I start looking for my Baby Doll. The real one. Even though I know it isn't here. I left it back in Gloria's apartment but crying babies make me really, really anxious so I have to look. It's like a rule inside my brain. I look in my drawers. I look in the closet. I look in all the places a Baby Doll might be.

Even in the suitcase. The suitcase is big and black and shaped like a box. I pull it out from under my bed. The zipper goes all the way around. But my Baby Doll isn't inside.

I take a deep breath. I have to make the crying stop. If I put it in the suitcase and put enough blankets and stuffed animals around it and push it back under the bed then maybe I won't hear it anymore. It will be like I put the noise away inside my brain.

Because the brain is in the head. It is a dark, dark place where no one can see a thing except me.

So that's what I do. I put the plastic electronic baby in the suitcase and start grabbing blankets. I put the blankets over its face and then a pillow and some stuffed animals. I'm guessing that after a few minutes the noise will stop.

Because to cry you need to be able to breathe.

7:33 at Night, Tuesday, September 7th

I 'm done with my shower but the plastic electronic baby is still crying. It was supposed to be quiet by now but it isn't.

My Forever Parents are sitting on the couch watching a movie. My Forever Mom has her feet in a bucket of water. She says lately they have been swollen. I walk out into the living room and stand in front of her and wait. Because she is a woman. I'm a lot more comfortable with women than I am with men.

"Hey, Ginny," my Forever Mom says while my Forever Dad presses the pause button. "What's up? It looks as though you might have something to say."

"Ginny," says my Forever Dad, "have you been picking at your hands again? They're bleeding."

That was two questions so I don't say anything.

Then my Forever Mom says, "Ginny, what's wrong?"

"I don't want the plastic electronic baby anymore," I say.

She brushes her hair off her forehead. I like her hair a lot. She let me try to put it in pigtails this summer.

"It's been almost forty minutes since you went into the shower," she says. "Did you try to make it stop? Here. Hold this until we can get you some Band-Aids."

She gives me a napkin.

"I gave it a bottle and changed its diaper three times," I say. "I rocked it and it wouldn't stop crying so I s—" Then I stop talking.

"It's making a different sort of sound now," my Forever Dad says. "I didn't know it could get that loud."

"Can you please make it stop?" I say to my Forever Mom. And then again, "Please?"

"It's great to hear you asking for help," my Forever Mom says. "Patrice would be proud."

Far away down the hallway I hear the crying again so I start looking for places to hide. Because I remember that Gloria always used to come out of the bedroom in the apartment when I couldn't get my Baby Doll to stop. Especially if she had a manfriend over. Sometimes when it cried and I heard her coming I used to take my Baby Doll and climb out the window.

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Excerpted from Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig. Copyright © 2017 by Benjamin Ludwig. Excerpted by permission of Park Row Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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