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
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2017, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2017, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

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 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 ...

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 ...
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Here are some of the comments posted about Ginny Moon.
You can see the full discussion here.


At the end of the book, did you feel that Ginny had evolved? What about Maura? In what ways do you think they both still have progress to make? Were you surprised by the way the story concluded?
I’m not sure what I expected at the end, but the revelations that occurred along the way weren’t going to result in a neat package tied up with a bow. Ginny has traumatic experiences from Day One of her young life, and her short time in the Moon ... - marianned

Do you as a reader become more or less sympathetic toward Maura when she is forced to increase her interaction with Ginny after Brian's heart attack?
After having the baby, Maura lost her initial commitment to Ginny. Her reaction showed a definite loss of attachment to her. This really made me dislike her. Toward the end of the book, Maura found herself again and began to bond with Ginny. The ... - janee

Do you consider Ginny to be an unfriendly person? How do you think she might define the word "friend"?
No, I think she is misunderstood. She is a child with autism, so she deals with people differently. - JulieAB

Do you envision a time when Gloria, Crystal or Krystal can be a part of Ginny's life?
Gloria, probably not. She is too emotionaly stunted to make room for Ginny in her life. Crystal, I’m not sure. Possibly when she’s older and understands the importance of family, she will reach out. - pennyp

Do you identify with Ginny's struggle?
Personally I do not identify with Ginny’s struggle, however I am able to empathize with her. Weeks after reading Ginny Moon, I still think about her and her struggles. An autistic 14 year old who was abused, cared for a newborn, saw many “uncles” ... - janicea

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
  • award image

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 Members Only (635 words).

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

Ellen F

Ginny Moon
I wasn't prepared to like this book or the main character. I thought it was going to be a very different type of book. The author brings the reader into Ginny's world as the story develops. I could empathize with all of the characters in her life ...   Read More

M. Kassapa

Ginny Moon
Ginny Moon, fourteen years old with autism, is trying to make sense of her world and with her as the narrator we are on a wild adventure following in her footsteps, watching how her mind works in navigating the zigzag path of her life. From the very ...   Read More

Rebecca

I Couldn't Put It Down
I absolutely loved this book and could not turn the pages fast enough. The newspaper review which compares this book to The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time caught my attention since I still remember reading that book many years ago. ...   Read More

Linda Zagon

Forever With Ginny Moon
When you decide to read the novel, “Ginny Moon”, by Author Benjamin Ludwig, just be prepared for an emotional and heartbreaking journey. Ginny Moon might be considered to be quirky and strange for a teenager. Ginny comes from a physically and ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

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" ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Ginny Moon, try these:

  • To Siri with Love jacket

    To Siri with Love

    by Judith Newman

    Published 2018

    About this book

    From the author of the viral New York Times op-ed column "To Siri with Love" comes a collection of touching, hilarious, and illuminating stories about life with a thirteen-year-old boy with autism that hold insights and revelations for us all.

  • Best Boy jacket

    Best Boy

    by Eli Gottlieb

    Published 2016

    About this book

    More books by this author

    For fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time comes this landmark novel about autism, memory, and, ultimately, redemption.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Educated
    Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Voted 2018 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Tara Westover had the kind of ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Voted 2018 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Towards the end of Madeline Miller...
  • Book Jacket: Children of Blood and Bone
    Children of Blood and Bone
    by Tomi Adeyemi
    Voted 2018 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    What would you do if, in a ...
  • Book Jacket: Where the Crawdads Sing
    Where the Crawdads Sing
    by Delia Owens
    Voted 2018 Best Debut Novel Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Where the Crawdads Sing was a ...

See all Award Winners & Top 20

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 ½ Deaths of
Evelyn Hardcastle

"Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day...quite unlike anything I've ever read." - A. J. Finn

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.