Review of Dear Mothman

Dear Mothman Dear Mothman
by Robin Gow
Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams    320 pp.
3/23    9781419764400    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781647008208    $15.54

This verse novel follows sixth grader Noah as he processes his grief over the death of his best friend, Lewis, in a car accident. The two were connected by things the world didn’t necessarily understand: a shared interest in the elusive cryptid Mothman and their own gender identities. Known to their families and friends by their assigned genders and birth names, the friends had shared their true identities as boys only with each other, making the loss even more heartbreaking for Noah. To honor Lewis’s memory, Noah (whose autism spectrum disorder is naturally incorporated) decides to dedicate his science fair project to proving Mothman’s existence. Through letters to Mothman, written in a journal that he leaves at the edge of the woods, Noah finds the companionship he is desperate for, which eventually leads to his bravely seeking out new friendships. Gow draws poignant comparisons between the misunderstood Mothman and Noah’s burgeoning understanding of his queerness. “I think monsters are here / to make people like me feel less alone.” Noah’s journey through grief and coming out to the world is authentically messy and joyful.

Pubissue-From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Hill Saxton

Hill Saxton is a youth services librarian at the Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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