Halloween Moon by Joseph Fink


Description*

From New York Times bestselling adult author Joseph Fink comes a wickedly fun middle grade novel about a Halloween-obsessed girl named Esther Gold, who goes out trick-or-treating for one last year, only to find her town under the thrall of a mysterious presence.

Esther Gold loves Halloween more than anything in the world. So she is determined to go trick-or-treating again this year despite the fact that her parents think she is officially too old. Esther has it all planned out, from her costume to her candy-collecting strategy. But when the night rolls around, something feels . . . off.

No one is answering their door. The moon is an unnatural shade of orange. Strange children wander the streets, wearing creepy costumes that might not be costumes at all. And it seems like the only people besides Esther who are awake to see it all are her best friend, her school bully, and her grown-up next-door neighbor.

Together, this unlikely crew must find a way to lift the curse that has been placed upon their small town before it’s too late. Because someone is out to make sure Halloween never comes to an end. And even Esther doesn’t want to be trapped in this night forever.

Review

I am a Halloween Girl. It’s always been my favorite holiday, and Halloween-themed and spooky stories some of my favorites. When I read the description of Halloween Moon, I thought it sounded vaguely like a 21st century version of the Ray Bradbury classic The Halloween Tree, so I thought I’d give it a read. All I have to say is WOW!

The Halloween Moon is one of the most entertaining and visceral (n a good way) books I’ve read in a long time. The basic story is one so many American children have experienced – how old is too old to go trick-or-treating. Fink has taken that coming-of-age decision and turned it on its head, layering on all the things 13-year-olds grapple with – fear of change, new friendships, new loves, aging parents, and a wily, unpredictable, ever-changing future.

This is storytelling at its best, with a relentless, brave protagonist, her band of three sturdy friends, an evil, snarky antagonist, and a quest, all rolled into a delicious Southern California setting during the best time of the year.

But, here’s the thing. I absolutely loved this story. I am a 58 year old, Halloween-loving librarian who felt all the feels about growing older and experiencing change that are included here. Will a real 21st century 13-year-old feel the same way? I’m just not sure, but I really hope so!

Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Published By: Quill Tree Books
Thanks to *Netgalley for the review copy