Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Carrying Mason by Joyce Magnin

Joyce Magnin. Michigan: Zonderkidz, 2011. 153 pp.
Rating: Don't Bother
Promises are made to be kept.

Thirteen year-old Luna Gleason, the third of six children, is not your typical teenager. Following the surprising death of her best friend, Mason, Luna decides to move in with his special needs mother, Ruby Day. Luna and Ruby Day quickly fall into a routine that is threatened by exposed secrets prompted by the arrival of Aunt Sapphire, Ruby Day’s aunt.
Luna, despite the obstacles, never wavers in her perseverance to help Ruby Day. Her appeal to her father was a delight.  “But Daddy, you said I couldn’t carry Mason and I did. I did that just fine. You said I’d never bait a proper hook, and I do that like a champ because Mason taught me. Ain’t you the one who is always saying, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me?’ All things, Daddy, not just some things. Even fight Aunt Sapphire and her fancy foxes and big car” (102). Magnin wonderfully illustrates the Christian principle of sacrifice. Even though Luna could have been killed or seriously hurt, she “stretched out as close…to the back wheels of Sapphire’s car” and didn’t hesitate to offer up her life. “Frederick can run me over if he want but I’m not giving up.” My favorite line of the novel is Luna’s mother's response to her husband's question about Luna’s actions. “She’s laying down her life for her friend.”

Notwithstanding its few good points, Carrying Mason is monotonous, repetitive, and boring. There are many children that are mature for their age, assume more responsibilities than what is normally required of that age, but I found Luna’s character to be highly unrealistic. I find it difficult to believe that in 1958, any parent would allow their thirteen-year old daughter to move out and become someone’s caretaker. I think Magnin should have made Luna older, which would be more appropriate given Luna’s mature disposition.

**Quotes taken from ARC**

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