Joe's brother Ed was convicted of murdering a police officer when Joe was seven; on death row in a Texas prison, Ed is given a date for his execution and Joe heads south to spend these last few weeks with the brother he hasn't see in ten years. With little initial family support, Joe has to figure out how to be there for his brother and how to deal with a world in which his brother's life means so little.
Moonrise is a really bold exploration of the effects of prison and state sanctioned executions on the families of those involved. By looking beyond guilt and innocence, highlighting the power structures involved, and focussing on the repercussions for those supposedly on the fringes, Crossan raises very important questions about justice and the prison system. Although Moonrise deals specifically with the death penalty in the US, the emotional journey Joe travels will not be unfamiliar for many NZ teenagers.
I both cried and got angry reading this; the pared back nature of the verse novel takes you right into the emotional heart of the story. No words are wasted and each little scene, each little gesture, glance, and sarcastic comment is necessary. Told in Crossan's trademark verse, for which she won the Carnegie medal in 2016, it's a really accessible text - both the subject matter and the style will appeal to more reluctant readers. Before they know it they'll be a good chunk of the way in and totally hooked!
Highly recommended for 14+
The astonishing new novel from Carnegie Medal, CliPPA Poetry Award, YA Book Prize and CBI Book of the Year Award winning author Sarah Crossan.
They think I hurt someone. But I didn't. You hear? Cos people are gonna be telling you all kinds of lies. I need you to know the truth.
Joe hasn't seen his brother for ten years, and it's for the most brutal of reasons. Ed is on death row. But now Ed's execution date has been set, and Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with him, no matter what other people think ...
From one-time winner and two-time Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this poignant, stirring, huge-hearted novel asks big questions. What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?
The phenomenal new novel from Carnegie Medal winning author Sarah Crossan; poignant, thought-provoking and incredibly moving, it explores life, death, love and forgiveness
Any reader with a heart will weep buckets * Sunday Times Book of the Week * It's impossible to put down - its agonising and informative plot, along with the poetry of the writing, makes for a powerful story that should appeal to anyone over 13 with a heart and a love of storytelling * The Times * Poignant * TLS * Mistrust, forgiveness and the premeditated stripping away of a future, distorting many other lives in unfathomable ways, are communicated through Crossan's spare, expressive free verse, with understated, heart-breaking clarity * Guardian * A moving account of sibling relationships, poverty and powerlessness * Irish Times * One of the most thought-provoking, tender stories of the year * IMAGE *
Sarah Crossan has lived in Dublin, London and New York, and now lives in Hertfordshire. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University. Since completing a masters in creative writing, she has been working to promote creative writing in schools. http://www.sarahcrossan.com/ @SarahCrossan