*Starred Review* School Library Journal

“…This is a heartfelt story of love and loss told through the eyes of an American girl who learns about true friendship and heartbreak at a school where students have few supplies but an abundance of understanding. When tragedy strikes again, it’s Clare’s African friends who help her find comfort and strength when sometimes all one can hope for is to laugh with the moon. This lyrical story will be consumed in one long sitting, but the characters will stay with readers for a very long time.”

-Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH, June, 2012


Publisher’s Weekly

With keen insight into culture and the psychology of grief, Burg (A Thousand Never Evers) crafts an atmospheric novel about 13-year-old Clare and her doctor father’s nine-week trip to Malawi. Clare chafes at leaving her friends (and technology) behind, and she is still struggling with her mother’s death eight months earlier. However, she is soon swept into a challenging but restorative adventure….The setting and cast emerge as real standouts, especially Clare’s friend Memory, who tells her, “Even the mourner must stop and laugh with the moon.” As this memorable heroine contends with loss, Burg balances tragedy with hope and resilience.

May 14, 2012


Kirkus Reviews

“Melding the colors of heartache and loss with painterly strokes, Burg creates a vivid work of art about a girl grieving for her recently deceased mother against a Third World backdrop. Clare is not speaking to her father. She has vowed never to speak to him again. Which could be tough, since the pair just touched down in Malawi. There, Clare finds herself struck by the contrast between American wealth and the relatively bare-bones existence of her new friends….Burg’s imagery shimmers. “The girl talks to her mother in a language that sounds like fireworks, full of bursts and pops. She holds her hand over her mouth giggling…. She probably has so many minutes with her mother, she can’t even count them.”…Ultimately, Burg’s lyrical prose will make readers think about the common ground among peoples, despite inevitable disparities.”

April 15, 2012


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