Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of Me (Moth) by Amber McBride

Me(Moth) Cover Art

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
Macmillan / Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: August 17, 2021
ISBN: 978-1250780362

After Black teen Moth is in a car accident that kills her parents and brother, she has no other options but living with her aunt in Virginia. Unable to dance since the crash, the only solace and peace she seems to be able to find are in the memories of her grandfather and his Hoodoo practice, but then Sani appears and is everything Moth needs most – stoic, solid, comforting. Moth and Sani decide to take a road trip to Sani’s ancestral Navajo homeland, and as Sani gets closer to his own roots, Moth begins to find her wings again. 

Rich layers of metaphor in sparse, lyrical verse lend Me (Moth) a depth and impact that is no less powerful for its brevity. Moth and Sani have very different backgrounds and lives, but their shared experience with trauma forges a mutual understanding that feels authentic and real. There is much that will resonate with both younger and older teens, and anyone else who has ever found themselves at a crossroads. At turns heartbreaking and breathtaking, Me (Moth) is a quiet story with a huge echo. 

Give this title to readers who find themselves drawn to haunting, dark stories that linger such as Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes and those looking for other characters shadowed in grief and guilt (think Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry and Turtles Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario).

Allie Stevens (she/her)

Other Nominated Titles

  • Like Other Girls by Britta Lundin (August 3, 2021)
  • The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer (June 1, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.