Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson
Readers are confronted with Laurel’s meth addiction at the very beginning of this book. She is filthy, sitting on a cold sidewalk and begging for spare change. She’s shy about smiling because her ex-boyfriend hit her, chipping her front tooth. Later she will hitchhike four miles to The House to trade whatever change she’s collected for a meth fix. By the way, Laurel is fifteen years old. We slowly learn how this young woman ended up like this,craving the “moon” (as she calls methamphetatine) and living in the back room of a deserted hardware store. So many factors led to her fall: a first love with a charismatic basketball player with a taste for partying, a home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and the loss of her mother and beloved grandmother, M’Lady.
This is a book that you can read in one sitting; it reminded me a lot of the Ellen Hopkins books, especial the Crank series. It’s unflinchingly realistic, and will take readers into the heart and mind of this young teen as she descends farther and farther into a world to which there may be no way out. I recommend this to fans of Ellen Hopkins, readers who have enjoyed Woodson’s other titles (Miracle’s Boys is a favorite here at Berekely HS), and anyone looking for a quick, engrossing read.