Over the Moon

by Natalie Lloyd (Author)

Over the Moon
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

"Strong themes of friendship and loyalty drive Lloyd's story, which soars under Mallie's heroic lead [whose] physical disability never holds her back. Rather, she bravely proves that questions have power and one's story can be reshaped." -Booklist, starred review

Twelve-year-old Mallie knows better than to dream. In Coal Top, you live the story you're given: boys toil in the mines and girls work as servants. Mallie can't bear the idea of that kind of life, but her family is counting on her wages to survive.

It wasn't always this way. Before the Dust came, the people of Coal Top could weave starlight into cloth. They'd wear these dreaming clothes to sleep and wake up with the courage to seek adventure . . . or the peace to heal a broken heart. But now nothing can penetrate Coal Top's blanket of sorrow.

So when Mallie is chosen for a dangerous competition in which daring (and ideally, orphaned) children train flying horses, she jumps at the chance. Maybe she'll change her story. Maybe she'll even find the magic she needs to dream again.

But the situation proves even more dangerous when Mallie uncovers a sinister mystery at the heart of Coal Top's struggles -- a mystery some powerful people will do anything to protect.

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Publishers Weekly

A 12-year-old struggles as her family's sole breadwinner until a dangerous opportunity offers financial freedom. Mallie Ramble manages her work as a maid in the valley just fine, though her employer condescends to her about her artificial arm, an orange "Popsnap" in "a universal color that fits everybody." Above the valley, Mallie's dust-covered home on Coal Top is ruled by malevolent authorities who threaten to force Mallie's beloved seven-year-old brother into the mines. When a flyer calls for "fellers" ("orphans preferred") "unafraid to ride and race and fly in the fear of certain death," Mallie bravely volunteers to fly Starbirds--airborne horses--and collect gold dust from distant mountaintops. The bond between Mallie and her Starbird, Leo, proves strong as an evil plot comes to light, as does her chemistry with her best friend Adam and the horse trainer Iggy. Though characterization can feel flimsy, Lloyd (The Key to Extraordinary) deftly sketches oppressive social and economic circumstances and firmly establishes Mallie's bravery. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for Over the Moon:
Lloyd presents a bleak portrait of a fantasy-world mining community that faces similar challenges to the ones in our own real world, but Mallie's story is essentially one of daring journeys and heroic adventure. — Horn Book

Lloyd deftly sketches oppressive social and economic circumstances and firmly establishes Mallie's bravery. — Publishers Weekly

Praise for A Snicker of Magic:

* This tale offers all [the] earmarks of fine storytelling, including colorful, eccentric characters, an original, highly likable narrator and a mighty 'spindiddly' plot. — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* From every angle, Lloyd's first novel sparkles and radiates warmth . . . Working in the folksy vein of Ingrid Law's Savvy, Lloyd offers a reassuring, homespun story about self-expression and the magic that resides in one's mind and heart. — Publishers Weekly, starred review

* A delightful and inspiring debut . . . Mibs Beaumont and her magically gifted clan from Ingrid Law's SAVVY would feel right at home here. As Felicity loves to say, 'Yes...yes...yes!' — School Library Journal, starred review
Natalie Lloyd
Natalie Lloyd lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She collects old books, listens to bluegrass music, and loves exploring quirky mountain towns with her dog, Biscuit. She is the author of A Snicker of Magic and The Key to Extraordinary.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Scholastic Press
Publication date
March 20, 2019
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
JUV028000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
Library of Congress categories
Brothers and sisters
Fantasy fiction
Gold mines and mining

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