The Secrets of Magnolia Moon – Edwina Wyatt – Walker Books – Published 1 November 2019
Magnolia Moon is very good at keeping secrets.
She knows just what to do with them, and has a way of talking to the jumpy ones to stop them causing trouble.
Which is why people are always leaning in and whispering:
“Can I tell you a secret?”
The Secrets of Magnolia Moon is a lyrical and whimsical story about growing up, becoming a big sister and dealing with secrets. Full of metaphors, repetitive sequences that bring a smile to your face and a writing style that uses lots of imagery, this feels like realistic fiction that borders on the fantastical, or at least magical realism.
Magnolia Moon is good at keeping secrets. She’s even better at knowing the exact right thing to do with a secret. In this book Magnolia must learn to let a friend go, start a new friendship and decide how she feels about welcoming a new baby into the house.
The Secrets of Magnolia Moon explores everyday occurrences and turns them into something special. As one of my colleagues said about the book, nothing really happens, but it instead reflects the timeless quality of childhood. It is a calming story, perfect for bedtime or after recess reading sessions. I particularly liked the repetition of the use of time and lifetimes. Magnolia often reflects along the lines of 1 hour is a lifetime if you are a cake in the oven. Time is fluid in the novel, chapters jumping ahead a lot and so the book spans quite a long time in just a short book.
Magnolia is the heroine of the story and we don’t really get to know the other characters very well, outside of Magnolia’s reflections of them. Some of the situations Magnolia faces is the moving away of her best friend. When her best friend tells her she hates goodbyes, Magnolia finds a creative way to say farewell to her friend. She must then make a new friend and sets her sights on the new book. He isn’t quite what she expected, but Magnolia learns to love their differences. During the course of the book, Magnolia also learns the importance of telling the truth and feels guilty about inventing a story.
Magnolia Moon is imaginative and creative – just like the book itself.
Category: Middle grade fiction
Themes: Family, friendship, secrets, babies, growing up, making friends.
Reading age guide: Ages 6 and up.
Published: 1 November 2019 by Walker Books
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 176 pages.