The Original Ginny Moon
by Benjamin Ludwig
Pub Date 02 May 2017
Meet Ginny Moon. She's mostly your average teenager—she plays flute in the school band, has weekly basketball practice and reads Robert Frost poems for English class. But Ginny is autistic. And so what's important to her might seem a bit…different: starting every day with exactly nine grapes for breakfast, Michael Jackson, taking care of her baby doll and crafting a Big Secret Plan of escape.
Ginny has been in foster care for years, and for the first time in her life, she has found her "forever home"—a place where she'll be safe and protected, with a family who will love and nurture her. Though this is exactly the kind of home that all foster kids are hoping for, Ginny has other plans. She'll steal and lie and reach across her past to exploit the good intentions of those who love her—anything it takes to get back what's missing in her life. She'll even try to get herself kidnapped.
Told in an extraordinary and wholly original voice, Ginny Moon is at once quirky, charming, bighearted, poignant and yet also heartbreaking and a bit dark. It's a story of a journey, about being an outsider trying to find a place to belong and about making sense of a world that just doesn't seem to add up.
"Ginny Moon is a brilliant debut. In asking us to identify with a developmentally delayed, autistic teenage girl and her peculiar obsession, Ben Ludwig set himself an Olympic degree of difficulty, but he succeeds with the extraordinary Ginny Moon. I was unable to put the book down as I willed her to overcome the obstacles within and around her. Ben Ludwig is a fine observer of human dynamics, and his sometimes dark sense of humor means that the emotional journey, challenging as it is, never becomes wearing. I was mightily impressed--this novel has all the elements for critical and popular success!" --Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Project
"Ludwig's excellent debut is both a unique coming-of-age tale and a powerful affirmation of the fragility and strength of families.... Ludwig brilliantly depicts the literal-minded and inventive Ginny." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Fresh, funny, heartbreaking and real, you will love this novel. Sometimes an author comes along who captures the moment in its complexity and fierce detail, illuminating the world in a way that changes readers perceptions and opens our hearts to understanding. Ginny Moon brings you inside the experience of autism, revealing the experience of it, not only what it must be like from the outside, but how it must feel from within. Benjamin Ludwig paints in every color with ferocity and ultimately, joy. I was galvanized by this read. You will be too. This is a book to savor and share with everyone you know. I did and I will." --Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife
"Benjamin Ludwig gives us a remarkable heroine in Ginny Moon.Writing poignantly and yet starkly believably from an autistic girl's point of view, he allows us to see the world in all its glorious mess, full of people trying to do their best and often failing, but heroically so."--Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue
"There is no guessing where Ginny Moon is going to take us in this page-turning, surprising, funny, heartbreaking, at times disturbing, and ultimately morally complex story. In Ginny's logical yet perplexing mind, it makes sense to try to get kidnapped by her dangerous birth mother. But something much larger is at stake, and we are left with the question-is love unconditional? What makes a good parent? A moving and thought-provoking debut." --Eowyn Ivey, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and national bestselling author of The Snow Child
"Compassionate, evocative and heartwarming."--InStyle, UK
Benjamin Ludwig's novel is a genuine and touching debut; Ginny Moon is a wonderful and memorable heroine."--Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply and Ill Will
"A heartwarming but refreshingly honest story about the making of an American family, told by a character who is, indeed, original-and impossible not to love." --Rumaan Alam, author of Rich and Pretty
"Ginny Moon had me wrapped around her little finger from the first page, and I'd have stayed under her spell for a book twice as long; it made me late for many appointments, and I was never sorry. This is a thrilling, often hilarious story, as heart-pounding as it is big-hearted." --Rebecca Makkai, author of The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House
"If I could ask Ginny Moon one question-and she only does allow one question at a time-it would be what does it feel like to be the heroine of a compulsively readable novel? Benjamin Ludwig does such a wonderful job of conjuring Ginny onto the page and of making us turn those pages at breathless speed. The Original Ginny Moon is a sparkling debut." --Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of Mercury and The Flight of Gemma Hardy