Beneath a Meth Moon: An Elegy

elegy n. 1. mournful poem  2. poem in elegiac couplets or stanzas 3. music, musical or lament for dead person 

Written in prose, Jacqueline Woodson‘s Beneath a Meth Moon reads as smoothly as a poem and manages to work in Hurricane Katrina, loss and young love as subplots to addiction.

Laurel tells her story bit by bit, with flashbacks to the beautiful memories of childhood and later the painful vignettes of hurricanes and death and moving, and then forward to that first night under the glowing moon when meth became her personal moon, filling her with good feelings and pushing everything else away until she had nothing. Laurel says, “But Moses and Kaylee keep telling me that fifteen is just another beginning, like the poet with the two roads and his own choice about which one he’d be taking.” By the end of the book, we know which road Laurel’s taking, and it’s not the easy one.

Go here to hear Jacqueline Woodson read an excerpt.

(definition from Encarta World English Dictionary, St. Martin’s Press, 1999.)


About AnEducationInBooks

Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of Salad Pie, a children's picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has been published in Emrys Journal Online, The Emerson Review, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres, SmokeLong Quarterly and Leopardskin & Limes, and is forthcoming in NOON. Read more work at or find her on Twitter @BooyTweets.
This entry was posted in Character-driven, Teen/Young Adult, Voice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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