Alabama Moon
Goodreads ratings
4.06 / 5

"Alabama Moon" Summary

By Watt Key

young adult | 304 pages | Published in NaN

I could trap my own food and make my own clothes. I could find my way by the stars and make fire in the rain. Pap said he even figured I could whip somebody three times my size. He wasn't worried about me.For as long as ten-year-old Moon can remember, he has lived out in the forest in a shelter with his father. They keep to themselves, their only contact with other human beings an occasional trip to the nearest general store. When Moon's father dies, Moon follows his father's last instructions: to travel to Alaska to find others like themselves. But Moon is soon caught and entangled in a world he doesn't know or understand, apparent property of the government he has been avoiding all his life. As the spirited and resourceful Moon encounters constables, jails, institutions, lawyers, true friends, and true enemies, he adapts his wilderness survival skills and learns to survive in the outside world, and even, perhaps, make his home there.In this compelling, action-packed book, Watt Key gives us the thrilling coming-of-age story of the unique and extremely appealing Moon.Alabama Moon is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.


Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

After his father's death, a young boy escapes from a reform school and embarks on a journey to find a new home in the wilds of Alabama.


"Alabama Moon" by Watt Key is a gripping young adult novel that follows the story of a ten-year-old boy named Moon Blake. Set in the forests of Alabama, the book takes readers on a journey of survival, self-discovery, and the bond of friendship. With its richly detailed setting and compelling characters, "Alabama Moon" offers a poignant coming-of-age tale that resonates with readers of all ages.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story unfolds in the deep woods of Alabama, where Moon Blake, an orphaned boy, lives with his father, who teaches him the skills needed to survive in the wilderness. When Moon's father passes away, Moon is left to fend for himself. He is soon captured and sent to a juvenile detention center, where he meets a boy named Hal. Together, they escape and embark on a perilous journey through the Alabama wilderness, evading the law and seeking freedom.


The novel is primarily set in the dense forests of Alabama, where Moon and Hal navigate through the rugged terrain, relying on their survival skills to elude capture. The natural landscape serves as a formidable and unforgiving backdrop to their adventure, adding an air of tension and danger to the narrative.

Main Events

1-3Moon's father passes away, and Moon is captured and sent to a juvenile detention center. He meets Hal, and they plan their escape.
4-6Moon and Hal successfully break out of the detention center and begin their journey through the wilderness. They encounter various challenges and obstacles along the way.
7-10The boys struggle to find food and shelter while evading the authorities who are hot on their trail. They forge a deep bond and learn to rely on each other for survival.
11-13Moon and Hal encounter a series of setbacks, including injuries and close calls with law enforcement. Their determination and resourcefulness are put to the test.
14-16As they push deeper into the wilderness, Moon and Hal face escalating risks and must confront their fears and vulnerabilities. Their friendship is further strengthened by their shared experiences.
17-20The boys' resilience is tested as they navigate treacherous terrain and face unexpected dangers. Their journey leads them to profound realizations about themselves and the world around them.

Main Characters

Moon Blake

Moon is a resourceful and resilient young boy who possesses exceptional survival skills honed through his upbringing in the Alabama wilderness. His unwavering determination and deep connection to nature define his character.

Hal Mitchell

Hal is a spirited and loyal companion to Moon, displaying bravery and adaptability as they navigate the challenges of their escape. His friendship with Moon becomes a source of strength and support in their shared struggle for freedom.

Themes and Insights

Survival and Resilience

The novel delves into the theme of survival, highlighting the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Moon and Hal's unwavering determination to overcome obstacles reflects the indomitable nature of the human will.

Friendship and Camaraderie

The bond between Moon and Hal serves as a central theme, emphasizing the power of friendship in overcoming hardship. Their unwavering loyalty to each other underscores the importance of companionship and support in times of crisis.

Self-Discovery and Independence

As Moon navigates the challenges of his journey, he undergoes a process of self-discovery, learning to rely on his instincts and inner strength. The novel explores the theme of independence, as Moon asserts his autonomy in the face of daunting circumstances.

Reader's Takeaway

"Alabama Moon" offers readers a compelling narrative that immerses them in the rugged beauty of the Alabama wilderness. The story's themes of survival, friendship, and self-discovery resonate deeply, leaving readers with a profound appreciation for the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of companionship.


In "Alabama Moon," Watt Key crafts a captivating tale of adventure and self-discovery, drawing readers into the untamed wilderness of Alabama and the indomitable spirit of its young protagonist, Moon Blake. Through its richly depicted setting, compelling characters, and poignant themes, the novel leaves a lasting impression, inviting readers to reflect on the enduring bonds of friendship and the unyielding strength of the human spirit.

Alabama Moon FAQ

  1. What is Alabama Moon about?

    Alabama Moon is about a young boy named Moon who has been raised in the forest by his father. When his father dies, Moon must navigate the modern world and find his place in it.

  2. Who is the author of Alabama Moon?

    Alabama Moon was written by Watt Key.

  3. What genre does Alabama Moon fall into?

    Alabama Moon is a young adult novel that falls into the adventure and coming-of-age genres.

  4. Is Alabama Moon part of a series?

    No, Alabama Moon is a standalone novel and is not part of a series.

  5. Is Alabama Moon suitable for all ages?

    While Alabama Moon is a young adult novel, it can be enjoyed by readers of various ages. However, some themes and content may be more suitable for older readers.