On My Bookshelf: The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer

July 29, 2019

In The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer, the final installment in the Life As We Knew It Series, events grow increasingly dark. There's a delicate balance between the new classes in community and the surrounding town where Jon and his family live, and not everyone survives when that balance is destroyed. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: It's been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong?

Why I liked it: I put off reading The Shade of the Moonthe final installment of the Life As We Knew It series partially because I didn’t want it to end, but also because I knew things would get darker.

And I wasn't wrong. Miranda’s youngest brother, Jon lives with their stepmother, Lisa, and their half-brother, Gabriel, in an exclusive community, while Miranda and her new husband Alex live with her mother just outside. There's a delicate balance between the new classes in community and the surrounding town: at the top are those with valuable skills in agriculture and medicine, in the middle are "slips" who somehow acquired "golden tickets" to a healthier environment, and at the bottom are the laborers who make up the service industry and manual labor workforce. When that delicate balance is disturbed Jon and his family are caught in the middle of it. Not everyone survives, but some are lucky enough to find a way out and to hope for a brighter future elsewhere.
In The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer, the final installment in the Life As We Knew It Series, events grow increasingly dark. There's a delicate balance between the new classes in community and the surrounding town where Jon and his family live, and not everyone survives when that balance is destroyed. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

Classroom application: Like book 1, 2, and 3 in this series, I recommend The Shade of the Moon for middle school and up. Death is present throughout the series, but nothing too gruesome or violent.

There are many cross disciplinary connections to be made, especially with history. The harsh class system with slips and laborers could be compared to class systems in countries like India and in the past, the United Kingdom. The constant fear that people live in could be compared to totalitarian governments like the Nazi regime or post WWII USSR. Sterilization in the novel could be compared to the eugenics movement in the United States and forced sterilization of groups like Native Americans the impoverished. The riot that begins at Jon's soccer game could be compared to the race riots throughout United States' history.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of The Shade of the Moon for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

In The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer, the final installment in the Life As We Knew It Series, events grow increasingly dark. There's a delicate balance between the new classes in community and the surrounding town where Jon and his family live, and not everyone survives when that balance is destroyed. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

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