It is the beginning of summer vacation. Socko and his best friend Damien entertain themselves playing with the decrepit old elevator in their tenement or throwing things off the roof, taking special care to avoid the local Tarantula gang and its leader, Rapp.
With the economy in a slump, many of the building s tenants are jobless. Despite their difficult circumstances, Socko s mom Delia is intent on helping him excel in school. She even looks out for his friends, keeping a close eye on Damien and on Rapp s reluctant girlfriend, Junebug. But when an opportunity arises to get Socko out of the bad neighborhood, Delia jumps at the chance. Her elderly grandfather has offered them a deal: to help him avoid a nursing home, he will buy a house for the three of them to live in, with full ownership going to Delia when he dies. Socko is less than thrilled to leave his best friend behind, especially with the Tarantulas recruiting. But Delia insists they can t save everyone, and they pack up their few belongings to move to Moon Ridge Estates.
Nothing in the new place is even remotely what Socko had imagined. His great-grandfather ( the General ) is wheelchair bound, crotchety, and extremely bossy. The housing development is a wasteland of empty houses, most of them only half-finished. Socko manages to make the best of a bad situation, caring for the General while Delia is at work and exploring via skateboard the vast unfinished tract called Moon Ridge, now his exclusive territory.
But when a family with expensive furnishings and a very upper-class-looking daughter moves in across the street, things begin to change. Socko realizes he isn t the only one with problems, and a new community begins to rally around the struggling development. During his Summer on the Moon, Socko will face a series of tests concerning his own nature, the nature of the world, and his place in it.
In this timely middle grade novel, Adrian Fogelin deftly handles issues of loyalty, family, community, and dealing with economic hardships.
About Adrian Fogelin
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Published April 1, 2012
by Peachtree Publishers.