Soul Moon Soup

Soul Moon1886910871Soul Moon Soup

Lindsay Lee Johnson, Author

Front Street, Fiction, Reprint edition 2008

Suitable for Ages: 10-14

Themes:  Artist, Homelessness, Loneliness, Poverty, Different Families

Synopsis:  Phoebe Rose dreams of becoming an artist.  Her father is her biggest supporter until one day he leaves and never returns.  Phoebe  and her mother find themselves forced to live on the streets.  They are homeless wandering from one soup kitchen and shelter to another.  Their only possession, one suitcase that holds all of their belongings and memories.  Phoebe’s spirit begins to fade, she stops drawing and sinks into despair.  When someone steals their suitcase, her mother sends her to live with her Gran at Full Moon Lake.  Healing is slow, until she finds a friend in Ruby, who encourages Phoebe to draw again.  Slowly Phoebe begins to find strength within herself until her mother returns and she has to make some decisions.

What I like about this book:  This moving story of sadness, loss, relationships and finding yourself, also has an element of beauty.  It is narrated in a series of poems or verse by Phoebe Rose as she describes the emptiness, loneliness, and hopelessness of existing day-to-day on the streets.  Lindsay Lee Johnson tells a compelling, lyrical and soulful story through the voice of an 11-year-old girl.  Her story will linger in your heart long after you’ve put the story down.  You really get a glimpse into Phoebe’s pain and suffering.  The plot is strong.  This book is a stark reminder that there are many children who are homeless and live on the streets in our cities.  I highly recommend this book because it help teens understand the humanity of the homeless.  Hopefully, it will encourage them to find a way to get involved.

Resource:  I reviewed A Kid’s Guide to Hunger and Homelessness: A Guide to Action by Free Spirit Press, in June.  It shows many ways kids can get involved through youth groups.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

34 thoughts on “Soul Moon Soup

  1. Looks beautiful. I keep looking for ways to teach my kids how important it is to remember to be grateful for what we have. This looks like a good tool to add to the arsenal. Thanks.


    • Nancy, this is a great book for kids. I don’t know the age of your kids, but if you have little ones, I reviewed a PB on homelessness last spring/summer called “Lily and the Paper Man.” I also gave a link to a kids guide on hunger and homelessness. It is outstanding and is supposed to be used with parents or youth group leader.


    • It’s an older book I found at the library, but it is very well written. The author really got into the mind and feelings of the character. As a resource a guide I reviewed last spring, that parents and youth leaders can use with kids. Know you homeschool. May be worth looking at.


  2. Pat, Thanks for reviewing this book. I’m going to add this one to my list. Do you think a 6-7 year old would be able to appreciate this book?


    • You would enjoy the verse Catherine. I know Matthew is young, so “Lily and the Paper Man” would be a better choice for him — and great for Christmas. But if you have older children, it would be a great read.


    • Yes, there is an element of beauty in the beginning and end. But, the heart of the story is how it feels to lose yourself when something like homelessness occur. It is a MG novel and a time for that age group to better understand homelessness in America and around the world. The person sitting next to them in school may be homeless because of their parents are divorce or unemployed.


  3. A book in verse I hadn’t heard of. Sounds like a great story. I hope Phoebe’s dream of becoming an artist comes true! I’ll definitely be reading this one. Thanks Pat =)


  4. Yes! A tragedy that anyone should live on the street. Homelessness is a cause I have long supported. And when living on poverty or tragedy, it is so necessary that a talent or doing something we love, should keep the soul alive. Thank you for this, Patricia. Wonderful, and I love the cover art.


  5. I think it is important to show children the humanity of those who are homeless. It is such a tragedy, and one that grows. I agree that a talent would help keep the soul alive — beautifully stated.


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