Parents' Guide to


By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Intense, angry, poetic tale of interracial friendship.

Moonwalking book cover

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Zetta Elliott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann's angry, relatable dual-narrative verse tale finds two battered kids in 1982 trying navigate a life that frequently makes no sense. Set in the early days of hip-hop, punk rock, and graffiti art, Moonwalking brings its middle-school protagonists together from different worlds, bonding warily over art. There's a constant barrage of violence (murdered friends and drug overdoses in the past, parents who think nothing of smacking their kids around), racism, and general helplessness in the face of overwhelming forces, and also the occasional inspiring moment of getting past it. There's also quite a lot about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and early punk group The Clash, whose leader Joe Strummer's survival advice is a mantra for one of the characters:

"Joe Strummer said

you don't need talent

you don't need skill

all you need is a loud voice

an electric guitar

three chords

and a story."

Book Details

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