Who doesn’t love Goodnight Moon? I’m sure there must be some heartless readers who don’t enjoy this classic tale by Margaret Wise Brown, but I’m not sure I want to know those people. Goodnight Moon was one of my favorite books to read to my students–the kids loved to point out their favorite items in the room. When I saw the book Goodnight June by Sarah Jio on the shelves at the library, I knew I had to try it out. Goodnight June is a novel that imagines a friendship between Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown and the aunt of the title character, June.
June is an uptight business woman who has been ignoring her past and her family. She answers the call to go home, though, to settle her aunt Ruby’s estate, which includes Ruby’s bookstore, opened in the 1940s. June has to make the difficult decision of whether or not she can keep the store open. While she’s going through the store, though, she discovers letters written between her aunt Ruby and author Margaret Wise Brown. Her aunt has left her a scavenger hunt of sorts, asking June to find classic children’s books in the bookstore to find more of the correspondence between Ruby and Margaret. Through these letters, June learns the story of the friendship between her aunt and Margaret Wise Brown, as well as more about the origins of Brown’s Goodnight Moon.
I don’t read a lot of adult fiction, because much of what I have read has been boring and predictable. Obviously I don’t pick that well because I know there has to be interesting and exciting adult fiction. Goodnight June is somewhere in the middle of that continuum–it wasn’t boring, but it was predictable. It was interesting, but not terribly exciting. Overall, though, it was a good story that made me want to read more by this author, even without the Goodnight Moon hook.
Goodnight June, Sarah Jio, 4-stars, fiction