Summary: A Place to Hang the Moon
Kate Albus’s debut middle-grade book, A Place to Hang the Moon follows three orphaned kids in England during the WWII evacuation. Orphans William, Edmund, and Anna (aged 12, 11, and 9) are evacuated after their (not nice) grandmother dies. The kids are instructed not to disclose how well off their family is until they’re placed with a new family that feels like a forever family.
In their new countryside dwelling, the kids are placed with several poorly matched families. The first family has twin boys that are just horrid and the second family is too poor (and could care less about them besides the money she’s paid to look after them). Through it all, the children take solace in each other, stories from William about their parents, and their love of books and the town library.
I’ve seen people describe this book as cozy, like a warm cup of tea and buttered toast, a hug for the heart — and you know what? Yes, yes, and yes. I adored it. First off, the kids have such robust, dynamic personalities. They’re each unique and handle the hardships of wartime and being orphaned in their own way.
Although this book is set during WWII, it is far from dreary. Albus does a fine job of insulating young readers by vividly portraying the small comforts the kids have — and generally making the protagonists upbeat characters. The community is alive in this book as readers get to meet a vast array of characters and get a good feel or those historical times.
The best part of this book for me besides the heart of it, is the book love! William, Edmund, and Anna are avid readers and find respite in the library and librarian, Mrs. Muller. I love books set in libraries and the one warmed me to no end.
Overall: A Place to Hang the Moon
A Place to Hang the Moon is a heartwarming, immersive middle-grade debut. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy reading this story of three orphaned siblings set against the background of the British WWII evacuation. Come for the spellbinding storytelling and stay for the unforgettable characters, the love of libraries, and the buttered toast. I would highly recommend this book, period, but especially for fans of books about siblings, adoption and community.
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I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
More Middle-Grade Historical Fiction
- Red, White and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
- Center of Gravity by Shaunta Grimes
- We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly
Have you read this book or any other amazing WWII middle-grade fiction? I’d love your recs!
Joanne Fritz says
Yes! I absolutely adored A PLACE TO HANG THE MOON! So grateful to have read an advance copy, and I can hardly wait to hold my own hardcover copy in my hands. Librarians will love this book!
Afoma Umesi says
It’s just lovely!