Summary and book reviews of Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

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
    Paperback:
    Dec 26, 2017, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book

Book Summary

Told in an extraordinary and wholly unique voice that will candidly take you into the mind of a curious and deeply human character.

Meet Ginny Moon. She's mostly your average teenager—she plays flute in the school band, has weekly basketball practice and reads Robert Frost poems for English class. But Ginny is autistic. And so what's important to her might seem a bit…different: starting every day with exactly nine grapes for breakfast, singing along to Michael Jackson, taking care of her baby doll…and crafting a secret plan of escape.

Ginny has been in foster care for years and for the first time in her life she has found her "forever home." After being traumatically taken from her abusive birth mother and moved around to different homes, she is finally in a place where she'll be safe and protected, with a family who will love and nurture her. This is exactly the kind of home that all foster kids are hoping for. But Ginny has other plans. She'll steal and lie and reach across her past to exploit the good intentions of those who love her—anything it takes to get back what's missing in her life. She'll even try to get herself kidnapped.

Ginny Moon is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, suspenseful and poignant. It's a story of a journey, about being an outsider trying to find a place to belong and about making sense of a world that just doesn't seem to add up.

Excerpt
Ginny Moon

6:54 at Night, Tuesday, September 7^p

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 ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Ginny's lack of emotional attachment to the people in her life makes her seem cold and unfriendly. Do you consider her to be an unfriendly person? How do you think Ginny might define the word "friend"?
  2. Ginny appears to be completely uninterested in romance. How do you envision her romantic life as an adult?
  3. Do you think the Moons acted reasonably with regard to Ginny before and after Wendy was born? If you had to step into the shoes of Brian and Maura Moon, and perceived your adopted child as a possible threat to your biological child, what would you do?
  4. Patrice makes some pointed observations about the Moons, especially Maura. Do you think her observations are accurate? Are her interactions with Ginny appropriate?
  5. Do you as a ...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Benjamin Ludwig completely captures his young protagonist, and as a result Ginny Moon is without doubt one of the finest novels I've read all year. I whole-heartedly recommend it for a wide audience, including young adult readers; book groups in particular will find much material for discussion.   (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Full Review (635 words).

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, Ginny's quest for a safe home leads her to discover her own strong voice.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Ludwig's excellent debut is both a unique coming-of-age tale and a powerful affirmation of the fragility and strength of families... Ludwig brilliantly depicts the literal-minded and inventive Ginny.

Booklist

Starred Review. Enlightening . . . compelling . . . remarkably engaging . . . A heartwarming and unforgettable page-turner.

Library Journal

Starred Review. This stunning debut novel grabs readers by the heart and doesn't let go... Ludwig's triumphant achievement is borne from his own experience as the adoptive parent of a teen with autism, and his gorgeous, wrenching portrayal of Ginny's ability to communicate what she needs is perfection

Author Blurb Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Project
Ginny Moon is a brilliant debut... I was unable to put the book down… This novel has all the elements for critical and popular success!

Author Blurb Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of Mercury and The Flight of Gemma Hardy
Benjamin Ludwig does such a wonderful job of conjuring Ginny onto the page and of making us turn those pages at breathless speed. Ginny Moon is a sparkling debut.

Author Blurb Erika Swyler, bestselling author of The Book of Speculation
Ludwig creates a startling, powerful voice in Ginny Moon, a character who lingers well beyond the pages. This is gripping work.

Author Blurb Lori Roy, Edgar Award-winning author
In his riveting debut novel, Benjamin Ludwig has given life to the unforgettable Ginny Moon. With a compassionate and insightful voice, Ludwig shares a story that will have readers cheering for Ginny, fearing for her and wanting to reach inside the pages of this poignant novel to guide and protect her. Ginny Moon will live on well past the last page and will forever change those who spend a little time with her.

Author Blurb Rebecca Makkai, author of The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House
Ginny Moon had me wrapped around her little finger from the first page, and I'd have stayed under her spell for a book twice as long; it made me late for many appointments, and I was never sorry. This is a thrilling, often hilarious story, as heart-pounding as it is big-hearted.

Author Blurb Alexi Zentner, author of The Lobster Kings and Touch
Benjamin Ludwig's Ginny Moon is both honest and raw. Ludwig gives voice to the voiceless. You might not know that the book is partially inspired by Ludwig's adoption of a teenager with autism, but you should be among the first to get to know Ginny Moon.

Author Blurb John Lescroart, New York Times-bestselling author
Artfully rendered, heartbreaking, funny and suspenseful, Ginny Moon is a veritable smorgasbord of a read that will stay with you long after you've consumed the final page. Excellent!

Reader Reviews

Linda Hepworth

Haunting and unforgettable.
Ginny Moon is now fourteen years old but when she was nine she was removed from her neglectful, abusive and drug-addicted mother, Gloria, as well as the threats posed by a succession of her mother’s violent boyfriends. Following this traumatic ...   Read More

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The Special Olympics

In Ginny Moon, the protagonist's participation in the Special Olympics plays an important part in the storyline.

Special Olympics LogoThe Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for individuals with intellectual disabilities. From its modest start as a summer camp in 1962, the Special Olympics now offers competition in more than 30 different sports with over 100,000 events organized annually across the world.  Like other Olympic athletes, participants start with local competitions and work their way up to regionals and nationals before competing at the international level. The Summer and Winter games alternate every two years ("odd" years, so as not to conflict with the Olympic Games that are held in "even&...

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