“But you can’t cast your hurt on other people. Your heart will never heal that way. It will only grow darker.”
The Leopard Behind the Moon is a beautifully written parable about children in a small village learning about acceptance. Each child has suffered and is looking for a way to right the wrongs they have experienced. Ezomo is a “useless” boy in the village who has been rocked by the death of his father. Chiamama’s family is shunned within the village because her mother can’t cook. Muja’s father has lost his voice and has become irrelevant within the village. They band together to help Ezomo find the leopard who killed his father. This quest takes them out of the village putting them in danger and angering the elders. The adventures they encounter provide them opportunities for tough choices that teach them lesson after lesson.
I really enjoyed the magic threaded throughout their very normal existence. These children had big hearts, a strong sense of justice and everlasting hope. This is a beautiful middle grade story told in the African tradition of oral storytelling. I highly recommend this short, beautiful story. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Greenwillow Books for a copy. All opinions above are my own.