The Feast of The Moon
Humans know nothing of death, less of danger and therefore do not live with honor. So concludes the hamster-hero in The Feast of the Moon. He is born on a prairie preserve surrounded by subdivisions. Still a pup, he is snatched from his burrow by a human and given to an adolescent girl. While studying the baffling ways of these curious creatures Ichilles suffers hazing by the girl’s older brother and assaults by the family cat – adhering to his philosophy of “Honor and Danger”…until he discovers the surprising concept of friendship.
This new strategy for staying alive is tested when after escaping back into the prairie he realizes that he has little idea how to survive there. All depends on how well he has learned his lessons from his beloved human friend.
With humor and by thrilling adventure (by hamster standards) The Feast of the Moon imagines a prairie in which shrews, sparrows, owls and hawks play out the dramas of the human condition. His escape into this world sets in motion a chain of events which changes the lives of the animals he meets and the humans he leaves behind. It is an unflinching meditation on the ultimate forces that drive daily life: friendship, family, sibling rivalry, loss, love and tenderness.
Unlike other popular fiction featuring animal narrators, The Feast of the Moon does not rely on gimmicky plot tricks, hijinks or pop culture asides. In the tradition of Watership Down, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Art of Racing in the Rain, the novel is the moving story of a journey, graced with deftly-drawn characters and lyrical prose to excite the intelligence and emotions of young adult readers.
Reader reviews (obtained from Amazon and Barnes & Noble)
I definitely recommend The Feast of the Moon. It stands out from other tales because it has a unique and engaging narrator. Hearing about the world from the hamster’s point of view and reading the folktale-like stories the hamster tells was a blast. The rich imagery and lore in this story makes it easy for the reader to care about the hamster and his friends. Additionally, this book has thrilling adventures, enduring friendships, wit, and wisdom. If you’re looking for a good book to enjoy or to discuss, check this one out.
I loved this book! I especially loved the characters and how they were described. If I rated this book from 1-10 it would be an 11. It is a ten+ book in terms of understanding the concepts and characters. It doesn’t have bad language or any concepts that are inappropriate. I think everyone should read this book especially if you have a hamster! 🙂
– Meghan, age 11
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I had hamsters when I was young and when I read the prologue I thought it was a cute idea having the hamster tell his life story. And then I just kept reading and reading. Although it is supposed to be a kid’s book, it is written on an adult level at the same time. And both levels work together, without talking down to either group. I found it humorous at first, and then as I got into the story, I realized it was much deeper. I actually teared up when one the characters died. When the hamster is living with humans he describes them in ways that I never thought of before, but are true. It’s a good way of teaching kids to see themselves from different perspectives. And when he escapes into the wild, he describes the sky and the prairie in the most beautiful way; his style kind of changes to fit the landscape. Maybe the best part(s) of the book are the little stories that the hamster tells himself. He invents a mythology without realizing it…and then believes it. The stories are really clever. Kids will like them because they are sound like real folk tales, but they also tie the themes together. It’s not the most fast-paced book ever, but when it was getting close to the end, I read slower and slower, so it wouldn’t. That’s how you know it’s a great book.
A great read for kids ages 8-12. It is great for parents to read too and can lead to positive discussions about what it means to be a friend and the meaning of courage. Terrific gift for the kids on your list.
I got this book to read to my kids (ages 11, 8 and 5) at night. I remember really liking Watership Down when I was young and by the description, The Feast of the Moon, seemed along those lines. A tale told from the perspective of a hamster sounded like something all three of my kids could enjoy. I was very happy that this writer assumes his reader, be they a kid or an adult, has a command of the English language and can read a story laced with descriptive analogies, varied vocabulary and unexpected situations. My 11 year old actually got impatient waiting for the nightly reading sessions and took the book to read on his own during the day. I’m not a fan of rodents at all, and I came away with a new respect for the little guys. Still not agreeing to buy a hamster, but I would highly recommend buying this book about one.
– Mother of Three
Very imaginative and engaging. This text works on many levels….independent reading, read aloud, guided reading. I like that it is fantasy fiction with a “lesson”. In some ways it reads like a fable. It invites the reader to dig for deeper meaning.
Once I started reading, I was entirely hooked and carried along by the story. It’s wry and witty, touching in all the right places, and altogether believable. I wanted to know what happened next. The characters are heartfelt–there are interesting ideas about friends and enemies and lessons appropriate for all humans throughout. This is a great story for children reading chapter books and would also be excellent to read to a younger child a chapter a night at bedtime–or in a classroom that had a hamster as a pet. I only hope that Brian will write “more times than two” about this world he’s cleverly created.
– Mary Jane, author and aunt of Kyle, a great hamster fan.
It is hard to believe that this is the author’s first book, as it is so well written and enjoyable. As a librarian and a reviewer, I know how hard it is to find a quality and readable animal story like this for older children. The intelligence and beautiful imagery begin on page one, but it was the humor and action of wondering what would happen to this creature who has to tangle with humans that kept me eagerly reading. The little asides and stories about his mom and siblings are easily to relate to even for us humans. I highly recommend this to readers young and old and am looking forward to Wapole’s next book.
– Amy Alessio, author of Hearts and Daggers: Three Valentine Mystery Novellas
As a proponent of Jim Trelease and his goal to promote reading aloud to all ages, I am always on the look out for literature that lends itself to being heard as well as read. [Soft Break]The formal tone of the dialogue combined with the moral lessons in Feast of the Moon reminded me of Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. This novel is a perfect pick for story hour and bed time read alouds.
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