The reason I share this is that before I ever opened the cover of What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau which I purchased there, I already had warm and positive feelings about this book written for young teens. And I was not disappointed.
Clara Luna's name means "clear moon" in Spanish, but other than learning to speak Spanish from her father, there is not much connection between her life in suburban Walnut Hill and the life her father left behind in the rural hills of Mexico. One day a letter arrives out of the blue from Clara's Mexican grandparents inviting her to spend two months of the summer with them. Even though she has never met them or heard from them before, it is decided that she will go. Struggling with curiosity, fear of the unknown, reluctance to leave her life in Walnut Hill and her friends for the summer, Clara also feels a compulsion to go. Dreams and feelings she cannot even articulate are pulling her there.
The story of what Clara finds in Mexico is one of the most beautifully written stories I've read in a long time. The language is rich, luscious, and evocative. Prose written by a poet. Among other things, it presents a picture of rural Mexico caught between the traditional lives of the people and their connection to the land and each other with the reality of uprooted lives as men have left the region and their families behind to make a life for themselves in the United States. What they leave behind and the sacrifices their families make is a poignant commentary on the "other" side of the immigration debate.
What Clara learns and the connections she makes with her grandparents and the people of the mountain village of Yucuyoo is not to be missed. I cannot recommend this story highly enough. It is wonderful.