Moonwalking

Hardcover

For fans of Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson, this middle-grade novel-in-verse follows two boys in 1980s Brooklyn as they become friends for a season.

Punk rock-loving JJ Pankowski can't seem to fit in at his new school in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as one of the only white kids. Pie Velez, a math and history geek by day and graffiti artist by night is eager to follow in his idol, Jean-Michel Basquiat's, footsteps. The boys stumble into an unlikely friendship, swapping notes on their love of music and art, which sees them through a difficult semester at school and at home. But a run-in with the cops threatens to unravel it all.

From authors Zetta Elliott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Moonwalking is a stunning exploration of class, cross-racial friendships, and two boys' search for belonging in a city as tumultuous and beautiful as their hearts.

Zetta Elliott is a black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children. Her poetry has been published in We Rise, We Resist, We Raise our Voices, and her picture book, Bird, won the Honor Award in Lee & Low Books' New Voices Contest and the Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers. She lives in West Philadelphia.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann is an author, teacher, and librarian. As an adult, she was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and delves into her diagnosis often in her writing. She and her husband divide their time between New York City and Lisbon, Portugal.


The coauthors' equally strong contributions evocatively bring the characters and setting to life through visual poetry. The even pacing makes for an engrossing read, and the characters' pain and promise will remain with readers. A stellar, hauntingly beautiful narrative. -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

In an authentic look at the racial divide that continues today, authors Elliott and Miller-Lachman bring varying degrees of own-voices authenticity to the characterizations and emotions represented. Their multilayered exposure of a specific time in history will resonate with modern readers, who will see these racist acts echoed all too loudly in current events. -- Booklist, starred review

A tender, engrossing tribute to art and close interpersonal bonds that explores themes of neurodivergence, mental health, and institutional prejudice. -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

While JJ and Pie's childhoods unfold 40 years in the past, their experience will ring true to modern readers, with explorations of immigration, racism, mental illness, and love - all topics that still resonate powerfully today. Racism is as real, divisions are as stark, no matter how freshly walked the protests or raw the throats that call for justice. -- Quill & Quire





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