Burying the Moon by Andrée Poulin is a middle grade novel in verse about a very important topic some children may be unfamiliar with. Latika lives in a village with no toilets, which is especially dangerous and shame-inducing for the women in her community. This is a reality for many people across the globe.

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The summary, from Amazon:

A beautifully illustrated novel in verse about a young Indian girl who tackles the taboos around sanitation in her village. 

In Latika’s village in rural India, there are no toilets. No toilets mean that the women have to wait until night to do their business in a field. There are scorpions and snakes in the field, and germs that make people sick. For the girls in the village, no toilets mean leaving school when they reach puberty.

No one in the village wants to talk about this shameful problem. But Latika has had enough. When a government representative visits their village, she sees her chance to make one of her dreams come true: the construction of public toilets, which would be safer for everybody in her village.

Burying the Moon shines a light on how a lack of access to sanitation facilities affects girls and women in many parts of the world.

Buy Burying the Moon here.

I loved that Burying the Moon includes not only a story told through poems but illustrations. The images are colorful and beautiful. The author’s note in the back further expands on the point of this story. Latika hasn’t begun menstruating yet, but she doesn’t look forward to it. Since there are no toilets at school, her sister and every other older girl she knows had to leave school once they began their period. This is a reality in many parts of the world. Beyond that, using an open field as a bathroom can create feelings of shame and is dangerous, both because of pests like scorpions and the poor sanitary conditions which have killed children in Latika’s village. This was a sad story, but there’s a hopeful ending, and the topic is important. Adding the illustrations creates kid appeal for a topic a lot of children will be unfamiliar with.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

Burying the MoonBurying the Moon by Andrée Poulin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful illustrations and very important info.

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Book Club Questions

  1. How would you feel if you did not have access to a toilet in your daily life?
  2. Why do girls have to stop going to school?
  3. Is there anything we can do to help bring toilets to people in communities that don’t have them?
  4. Why is having a toilet not just a convenience, but a necessity?

Interested? Buy Burying the Moon.
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