Me (Moth) (Hardcover)
July/August 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“This book is simply beautiful! Told in verse, it’s a story of love, tragedy, and forgiveness. It’s about finding yourself again in the midst of grieving. Each poem could stand on its own but, together, they tell a story that gets you all in the feels. I just want to hug Moth.”
— Kim Brock, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
A debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen boy who crosses her path.
Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.
Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.
Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.
Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.
About the Author
Amber McBride teaches English literature at Northern Virginia Community College and has a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her work has been published in Ploughshares, Provincetown Arts, Decomp and more, and Me (Moth) is her debut novel. McBride lives in Charlottesville, VA.
Finalist, 2021 National Book Award
"This searing debut novel-in-verse is told from the perspective of Moth, a Black teen whose life changed forever the day a car crash killed her family. ... Each free verse poem is tightly composed, leading into the next for a poignant and richly layered narrative. The story builds softly and subtly to a perfect, bittersweet ending. Fans of Jacqueline Woodson won’t be able to put this one down."—School Library Journal, starred review
"McBride artfully weaves Black Southern Hoodoo traditions with those of the Navajo/Diné people, creating a beautiful and cross-cultural reverence for the earth, its inhabitants, and our ancestors. ... Written in verse, this novel is hauntingly romantic, refusing to be rushed or put down without deep contemplation of what it means to accept the tragedies of our lives and to reckon with the ways we metamorphosize as a result of them." —Booklist, starred review
"If you think you know where this story is going, think again. Me (Moth) will surprise you." —BookPage, starred review
"Written in gorgeous verse, Moth's painful story of heartbreak, connection, and learning to love again unfolds, thanks to a soul connection with cool guy Sani."—Girls Life Magazine
"With unmatched lyrical writing and a powerful plot, McBride is an absolute must-read author."—Buzzfeed
"Two years after a devastating car accident killed her family as they drove from New York to northern Virginia, aspiring dancer Moth, the Black granddaughter of a Hoodoo root worker, is still navigating the accident’s fallout... When a new student—talented Navajo musician Sani—shows up in her junior homeroom class, Moth finds a kindred spirit whose similarly painful past and physically abusive stepfather compound his depression." —Publishers Weekly
"Recommended. McBride writes Moth’s narration in spare, wistful free verse that reads like Francesca Lia Block in poetry or a fragile, emotional E. E. Cummings; Moth’s pain at being “the guilty girl who lived” is keen and haunting, and the frequent evocation of her grandfather, a spiritual rootworker, adds a supernatural flavor. ... Readers may not see the poignant final twist coming, but it’s a satisfying climactic development that will leave them dabbing their eyes and turning to their own art in hope and gratitude." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)
"Me (Moth) holds you like a gentle haint, pulling you in and out of song, and dance, and dreams until you are not sure where reality ends and memory begins. Amber McBride in her young adult debut has written a marvelous novel in verse full of ancestor wisdom and love that traverses crossroads that we must navigate to live."—Joanne V. Gabbin, Director, Furious Flower Poetry Center