Book of the Week: Ginny Moon – Benjamin Ludwig

This debut novel is the winsome and poignant story of an autistic foster child who has found her “forever family” after three placements in five years. When her forever parents become pregnant, a complicated time for the family is made more difficult by the unexpected resurfacing of Ginny’s abusive birth mother who wants to reconnect with the girl. Told from Ginny’s point of view, this tale of an unusual girl finding her path to love and safety will like appeal to fan of books like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Rosie Project.

Ginny Moon launches Harlequin’s new indie-friendly imprint Park Row Books. It marks a great start and is shaping up to be a bestseller with three starred advance reviews, both an Indie Next and LibraryReads pick, and authors like Graham Simsion and Dan Chaon in its corner.

Ludwig’s excellent debut is both a unique coming-of-age tale and a powerful affirmation of the fragility and strength of families. We meet 14-year-old Ginny, who has autism, as she settles into life with a new “forever family” and unexpectedly reconnects with Gloria, the abusive, drug-addicted mother from whom she was taken away at the age of nine—and Rick, the father she never knew. The rediscovery unsettles the tentative bond Ginny’s forged with adoptive parents Maura and Brian, exacerbates the teen’s heartbreaking fears for the “baby doll” she left behind, and ultimately triggers a wildly heroic, secret plan to run away to Canada with Gloria and Rick. Ludwig brilliantly depicts the literal-minded and inventive Ginny—whose horrifying past and valiant hope for the future are slowly unveiled—and the alternately selfish, sympathetic, and compassionate adults who would do anything to get Ginny to choose their love….”
—  Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This stunning debut novel grabs readers by the heart and doesn’t let go.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“[E]nlightening…compelling…remarkably engaging…A heartwarming and unforgettable page-turner.”
Booklist (starred review)

“In telling the tale from Ginny’s perspective, Ludwig captures the carefully constructed, sometimes-claustrophobic world Ginny inhabits…. By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, Ginny’s quest for a safe home leads her to discover her own strong voice.
 Kirkus Reviews

“Ginny Moon isn’t like most other 14-year-olds. She is a Forever Girl, living in a loving Forever Home, but she’s desperate enough to get back to her Baby Doll that she plots to have her dangerous, irresponsible birth mom kidnap her. Ginny’s story was completely gripping right from the start with a looming sense of dread at all the ways her tale might become a tragedy. Her voice was pervasive…and I loved being in her head and seeing the world the way she does. Likewise, the adults are all made both simpler and more complex seen through Ginny’s eyes, and I marveled both at the ways they understood her and in the ways they sometimes failed her. Even though I was terrified for her, it was a joy spending time with clever, focused, brave Ginny.”
— Danielle Borsch, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

Ginny Moon (9780778330165) by Benjamin Ludwig. $26.99 hardcover. 5/2/17 on sale.