Full Cicada Moon
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Full Cicada Moon is a free-verse novel about 12-year-old Mimi Yoshiko Oliver, a half-African American, half-Japanese girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut when she's older. Set in 1969, the book references important events in American history: the lunar landing, the civil rights movement, Pearl Harbor, the Vietnam War, and so on. Many characters encourage Mimi to pursue her dreams despite the racism and gender inequality she experiences in her new community and school. The only violence is two boys fighting at a middle school dance.
Report this review
What's the Story?
Set in 1969, FULL CICADA MOON tells the story of 12-year-old Mimi Yoshiko Oliver, a half-African American, half-Japanese aspiring astronaut whose family moves from Berkeley, California, to a predominately white small town in Vermont. Judged by the community because of her skin color and teased by her classmates because of her interest in science competitions and shop class, Mimi never loses sight of her dreams no matter how many times others try to discourage her. In a world that's constantly trying to tell her whom she should be, Mimi's refusal to conform not only helps her overcome racial and gender stereotypes but also lets others know how she wants to be defined.
Is It Any Good?
Marilyn Hilton's thought-provoking free-verse novel is an inspiring coming-of-age story for middle schoolers. She delicately weaves American history into the story, and the deliberate placement of words on the page beautifully captures Mimi's emotions and her view of the world. Being the new kid is always difficult -- especially when you're judged by your race and gender -- but Mimi learns to respectfully push the boundaries by uniting her classmates through an act of civil disobedience. Her courage and determination can empower kids, especially girls, to embrace the sciences and their own dreams.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the difference between our era and the 1960s. How does Full Cicada Moon mirror what's happening in the world today?
Why do you think the author chose to write this story in free-verse poetry? Was it easier or harder for you read in this form? How would the book have been different if it had been written in prose?
Check out these websites, apps, games, books, and TV shows to spark kids' interest in STEM topics and careers.
- Author: Marilyn Hilton
- Genre: Poetry
- Topics: STEM, Great Girl Role Models, History, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Dial Books
- Publication date: September 8, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
Our Editors Recommend
Inside Out and Back Again
Inspiring verse story of immigrant's new life in the U.S.
One Crazy Summer
A gem, with strong girl characters, '60s black history.
Brown Girl Dreaming
Captivating poems depict coming-of-age in tumultuous 1960s.
For kids who love poetry and middle school stories
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate