“Did you find my Baby Doll?”
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig is about a fourteen year old girl, Ginny, who has autism. The police took her away from her birth mother, Gloria, at age nine as it was an unsafe environment (to say the least). Now a family has adopted her and she has a Forever Mom and Forever Dad now. Only thing is? She forgot her Baby Doll at Gloria’s apartment and is willing to do anything to get it back.
There’s a lot to say about this book. I read it very quickly, which I know immediately is an indicator that I enjoyed the read. Books I do not enjoy tend to drag on by my standards, and the drag can really get to me in certain cases. Thus, I am quite pleased this read went quickly.
I think in part it was an easy book to read. There was no extraneous dialogue or description. It was all straight to the point. Perhaps this is due, in part, to Ginny being autistic? I do not have experience with autism, so I could be way off base, but I do get the impression rules and straight talk, no expressions, is a significant characteristic. This book reaffirms my belief, as I believe the author adopted a teenage girl with autism, so I would imagine he would keep the characterization true to form.
While I figured out the rhythm quite quickly, I do think the simple dialogue is treading a fine line. Too much simplicity and repetition can make some people lose interest. I would encourage anyone who falls prey to this a lot to keep plugging along with this book—there is a decent amount of payoff in the end, I think.
Moving forward now, the next thing I have to mention is I figured out the vast majority of the intrigue surrounding Ginny’s Baby Doll quite early on in the book. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not. If it was intentional, then good work. If not, however, it definitely detracts from the book as a whole. Since I am not sure, I think I can remain neutral on this topic, particularly since the book did still hold some interest in other respects.
I think the only other thing in this book that could be…not so great, is the event with the electronic baby. I would hope this is not an indicator of a deadlier type of tone, but that and certain related points do make me concerned about Ginny. It’s hard to accurately define everything though, which is why I am undecided and having issues dealing with it.
In the end, however, I think Ginny Moon was worth my time. It is a refreshing change from the type of books I regularly read. I also think it can teach people a lot regarding foster children as well as those who have autism (or fall on the spectrum in some fashion). I would recommend this to a lot of different types of people and readers, including both people who have kids and those who do not. I cannot speak to the accuracy of some aspects of the book (e.g. autism) but it did ring true in my opinion, and ran in line with other things I have seen. If I operate under that assumption, I would recommend it to gain some kind of insight into the minds of those who fall on the spectrum. But as I said, that comes with a caveat.
Regardless, give Ginny Moon a try! When you do, let me know what you think!
Title: Ginny Moon
Author: Benjamin Ludwig
Publisher: Park Row Books