Title: Ginny Moon
Author: Benjamin Ludwig
Meet Ginny. She’s fourteen, autistic, and has a heart-breaking secret…
Ginny Moon is trying to make sense of a world that just doesn’t seem to add up….
After years in foster care, Ginny is in her fourth forever family, finally with parents who will love her.
Everyone tells her that she should feel happy, but she has never stopped crafting her Big Secret Plan of Escape.
Because something happened, a long time ago – something that only Ginny knows – and nothing will stop her going back to put it right…
A fiercely poignant and inspirational story a lost girl searching for a place to call home. Ginny Moon will change everyone who spends time with her.
Ginny Moon is a touching, sweet story of a 14 year old girl with Autism, who has had a hard and rather sad upbringing. She now lives with foster parents,but if you think that’s her happy ending, you find that unfortunately things aren’t perfect for her.
I have no experience of autism myself, basing everything on other books I’ve read which I’m aware aren’t always accurate! However, Benjamin Ludwig seems to created a fairly accurate representation of someone living with autism, particularly a child – or if he hasn’t, he’s created something that seems convincing enough, and Ginny is certainly likable!
Ginny seems like such a sweet girl; her confusion and struggle with social situations and communication is really interesting to read about, and I really felt like I got to know her and life through her eyes. Knowing that Benjamin Ludwig is a foster parent himself to an autistic child means you can really see how his own experiences have helped define and shape this book. He’s attempted – and I get the impression that he’s also succeeded – in portraying the struggle of being a foster parent to a special needs child, but told through Ginny’s eyes in what feels like a really honest way. I liked both foster parents (Brian and Maura) and really felt for them, despite the hard situation they were in. I particularly liked Ginny’s ‘forever dad’, Brian, who seemed much more patient and really lovely.
I really disliked the majority of the other adults in the novel – of course, Ginny’s mum and aunt are both completely unsuitable for Ginny, as we know, but even the teachers seemed quite misinformed about how to handle Ginny. Surely, as she seems to be at a school for students with special needs (or at least in a special class), the teachers and staff should have some idea of how to speak to, interact with and actually help a child like Ginny, instead of seeming surprised when, for example, she doesn’t answer if asked two questions at once. That might just be me expecting too much from those characters, though!
There are sad and poignant moments in this story, as well as some lighter parts which can be quite humorous, but throughout it all Ginny remains a sweet and naive character who you can’t help but love. I really enjoyed reading about her.
I listened to the audiobook version and often I’d prefer to just read it myself and completely imagine the accents of characters in my head. However I really wanted to read this so was excited to borrow it from my local library when it became available in audiobook format – the narrator had a bit of an annoying voice (sorry!) to be honest, but never mind.
This is a lovely story with plenty of emotional parts, and told from a child narrator which is always something a little different for adult fiction, too. I’d recommend it.