When Socko (short for Socrates) is told by his mother they are moving out of the only home he can remember to take care of a great-grandfather he’s never met, he wants no part of it. Not that things are great where Socko lives in Summer on the Moon by Adrian Fogelin. He and his best friend live in fear of the local gang, the Tarantulas. Their leader, Rapp, seems determined to take them both out. Socko doesn’t feel near as brave as his friend Damien, but he knows Damien’s mom can’t help him out at all and Socko doesn’t want to leave him behind.
When Socko and his mother make the move to a basically deserted new housing development called Moon Ridge he feels they might as well be ON the moon for all the people there and how empty it feels after the bustle of the city life. His great-grandfather turns out to be a cranky, demanding old soul, who seems to live to torment Socko and his mother. Or so he seems at first glance. He sends Socko on recon missions in the neighborhood and it is on these missions Socko’s life begins to change as he meets his only neighbor. Just when things appear to be moving in a forward direction, Socko, can’t seem to leave behind his past in the city and when it comes looking for him, he has to decide to either continue looking back, or finally turn and look the other way.
Socko is a kid that reminds me of a younger brother I have, who, as a kid appeared tough and kind of scared at the same time. I’m sure he’d love to know I thought of him that way, but now that he’s older he would probably agree with me! While Summer on the Moon takes a bit to get going, once it does, it is hard to put down as you want to know what decisions Socko will make and which ones will be taken out of his hands.
Recommended for grades 6th and Up.