By Natalie Babbitt
Scholastic, $15.95, 160 pages
Not all writers are storytellers. Natalie Babbitt definitely is one and in The Moon Over High Street, she tells the story of Joe Casimir, a boy who has a secret dream as big as the moon. Joe meets millionaire Anson Boulderwall quite by accident and he is not impressed by what he sees. The trouble is that Mr. Boulderwall wants to adopt Joe. Joe’s grandmother is furious. His aunt, who is really some sort of cousin, is distraught and is entirely blasé about the whole thing. It’s either Joe’s dream to study and protect the moon or live a life of privilege on High Street. It’s his decision. This is a sensitive and charming story about believing in and following one’s dreams. Babbitt’s narrative is wonderfully fresh without ever resorting to platitudes or trite ideas. She writes with a minimalistic approach, yet the characters and settings are vivid and believable. Joe’s struggle to choose between money and the moon represents the choice between a calling and practicality. Fans of Natalie Babbitt’s previous books will not be disappointed.
Reviewed by Andrea Klein
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