Half-Japanese, half-black, Mimi Yoshiko Oliver loves looking at the moon and wants to be an astronaut. In January 1969, she moves from California to the frosty Vermont town of Hillsborough, an unwelcoming place. The farmer next door is always rude, and Mimi is teased at school. Even after she forms a tentative friendship with a girl named Stacey, she’s not invited to Stacey’s home. Then there’s the matter of shop class. Mimi would rather take shop than home ec so she can use power tools to work on her science project, but girls are supposed to “learn how to cook and sew so they can be good homemakers.”
Slowly, Mimi and her family discover small moments of harmony, like finding the first crocuses in the snow. When Mimi and Stacey decide to challenge the exclusion of girls from shop classes, their courage inspires the entire eighth grade to an act of civil disobedience.
Told in evocative free verse, Full Cicada Moon is a lyrical portrait of a strong family at a time of immense change, perfect for that budding scientist who loves to look at the stars.
Deborah Hopkinson lives near Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book for young readers is Courage & Defiance.