When Luna's best friend Mason dies, she's determined to hold onto his memory. Moving in with Mason's mentally disabled mother, Ruby Day, Luna takes over the cooking and cleaning. But trouble arrives in the form of Ruby Day's aunt, who wants her niece put away in a mental institution. It will take all Luna's willpower to defeat the aunt, and along the way she'll learn what it means to lay down one's life for a friend.
Magnin (Bright's Pond series) writes her first book for younger readers with this middle-grade story of 13-year-old Luna, whose best friend Mason dies in a car accident. Luna decides to move in with Mason's mother, Ruby Day, who is mentally disabled, to lend a hand and to honor her friend. The plot thickens when Ruby Day's Aunt Sapphire shows up in a chauffeured limousine wearing a boa made of two dead foxes. Sapphire wants something, and it can't be good. Magnin's strengths are well displayed in this coming-of-age tale: her dialogue crackles, her wit relieves (Luna is affectionately called "Luna Fish" from a mishap with a tuna fish sandwich), and her sense of family dynamics that includes the usual verbal sparring among children is lively. Luna's parents seem a bit too Hallmark Channel good to be true, but that won't bother everyone. There's no supernatural world or dystopia here just smalltown life, death, and growing up. Ages 8 12.