When I'm older, she thought, I'll remember this midnight picnic as a good thing. I'll forget that I was scared of the dark, and that Dad was strange. I'll remember the candles in the grass, like flowers made out of flame, and Tug dreaming of pie, and Dad telling me he loves me.
Eleven-year-old Martha is used to being the one who has to keep their head. Tug, her little brother, is too small. Dad is too strange. And Mum's not here any more.
So when Dad falls off the roof, it's Martha who ices his knee and takes him to the doctor. And when Dad doesn't come home, it's Martha who cooks Tug's favourite pie and reads him his bedtime story. And when Dad passes out, it's Martha who cleans him up and keeps his secret.
But eventually Dad's problems become too big for even Martha to solve. There is only one person who can sort things out now. Dad.
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Best known for his Quigleys books, Mason tackles the sensitive topic of an alcoholic father with great aplomb. It's happy, sad, compassionate and funny with wonderfully drawn child characters Martha and Tug. - The Bookseller
It is a well written book, which children aged 9+ would enjoy. It tackles the subject of parents with alcoholism however that is not the only story within the book. It is about friendship and laughter and working towards your dreams. Some dreams do come true and are worth working towards. - Sarah's Book Reviews
It is a well written book, which children aged 9+ would enjoy. It tackles the subject of parents with alcoholism however that is not the only story within the book. It is about friendship and laughter and working towards your dreams. Some dreams do come true and are worth working towards. - The School Run
Zany, thought-provoking, and humorous, Moon Pie is a high impact novel. Vivid characterisation and an assured, lively and sometimes lyrical tone create a wholly convincing backdrop for Martha who is struggling to keep her family on track through her father's alcoholism. Incisive observations combined with perfectly timed comedic movements make this a sure winner. - The Bookseller
I loved this gorgeous little book. Its subject is dreadfully dour, but it's not a dour book at all. Firstly, no matter the faults of the adults in the book - and they are legion - the genuine love in the family shines through. It's always clear that where there's love, there's hope. This is an important message at any time, but it's crucial when you're writing for tweens and pre-tweens. Secondly, Simon Mason has an enviable lightness of touch. He can write about a midnight picnic so that it makes you smile even though you know it's actually a very dark event, symptomatic of how dangerous Martha's father's drinking has become. And thirdly, there's a wonderful cast of larger-than-life supporting characters. 5 stars - The Bookbag
Topics like dead mothers and alcoholic fathers are extremely difficult to address for this age group, but Mason tells the story with cpmpassion and humour. - The Bookseller
The characters make this book live. They positively spring off the page. Tug is one of the most loveable and believable five year olds I've encountered in a book...Critics will use the word 'heartwarming' about this book and they'll be right. - An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
Moon Pie is a charming, unusual story that will appeal to any child who enjoys true-to-life tales... With plenty of wit and humour, this book addresses issues that affect many children with a light touch. - Red House
Outstanding... this is a book that addresses painful events with a wonderfully ebullient comic touch... it's Mason's gift for the way that people, especially children speak and think that makes the book gripping and absorbing... Moon Pie addresses a difficult subject with a vigour and charm that will beguile any child interested in real life. The opposite of grim, its originality, tone and ebullience deserves prizes as well as praise. - The Times
full of warmth and humour, often of the laugh-out-loud variety, skilfully intertwined with moments of sheer poignancy - Oxford Times
'Moon Pie is a charming story that will appeal to any child who enjoys true-to-life tales...With plenty of humour, this book addresses issues that affect many children with a light touch.' - Red House
'How much more remarkable to deliver something that is meaningful and moving, that works on different levels, when your vocabulary is more limited than when writing for the older reader. This is what Simon Mason has achieved with Moon Pie...Mason avoids all the potential pitfalls, and instead has written a subtle book that is very moving at but also full of wit, life and, above all, love.' - The Guardian
Simon Mason's Moon Pie is an absolute delight. It is honest, and tackles a difficult subject - the descent into alcoholism of a man who has lost his wife - with great wit. - The Telegraph
an absolute delight. It is honest, and tackles a difficult subject... with great wit. - The Telegraph
It's... a spiked children's classic, and an utter delight... A beautifully written, exquisitely touching but gently humorous novel. - The Sunday Telegraph
This is a beautifully told story that is long on affection and short on preaching. - The Guardian.co.uk
The modern and realistic storyline makes it easy relate to and understand and increases your knowledge and understanding on the subject. The author makes what could be a depressing or boring topic into a exciting interesting one. Making me laugh at times, the personality and quotes of tug and Marcus were very funny. Mason manages to make the deep connection in this family clear even throughout upsetting situations. - Roundwood Readers
Love conquers all in this big-hearted and heartbreaking story. - Kircus Starred Review
...candid and humorous...Moon Pie is a moving tale of the serious side of life. - The Observer
Simon Mason is highlighted as being shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction prize for his 'moving tale of the serious side of life' Moon Pie. - The Observer
Moon Pie is a wonderful, witty, well written book that addresses important issues in a funny way... The way Mason has portrayed the characters in this book is just brilliant. You can easily get lost in this book because the dialogue is written in a quirky, humorous way that won't make you lose interest. - Guardian Online
Martha, and Tug her brother, have a problem. Their problem is Dad, who isn't behaving like he used to. Martha can't understand it - it's been two years since Mum died, and he was just the same to start with; he told Martha and Tug he had enough love for both of them, and they'd just have to get on with life. But when, months later, they moved house, and then he stopped working, it seemed Dad started acting strangely. The characters are real and wonderfully done. Although Mason is brave enough to address alcoholism, he has chosen to avoid using the word depression anywhere in the novel, even though that is clearly what Dad is battling with. - Guardian Children's Book website
It is so gracious of Mason to allow a young audience such emotional responsibility. This kitchen-sink realism, with all terrible moments is told with such clarity and sincerity I wanted to bundle up those children and drag them from the pages. - Storytellers Inc Reviews
The topic of this book is awful, but the story is, although harrowing at times, beautiful. It is about family, love and making tough decisions that can hurt people you love even though it's the right thing to do. This book has more than a little Jacqueline Wilson about it, and it will appeal to readers of that gritty real life genre. As a little light relief, you will be charmed by Martha's best friend, Marcus, a sometimes cross-dressing speed movie maker! - 366 Days: My Year of Reading Blog
It will have you smiling happily one moment, sadly the next. ... It is a realistic story about the problems of dealing with an alcoholic parent, beautifully written and a joy to read. - Awfully Big Reviews
Simon Mason lives in Oxford with his wife and two children. He is the author of the hilarious and heart-warming QUIGLEYS series, featuring the eccentric Quigley family, the first of which was Highly Commended in the Branford Boase Award 2003. He is also the author of three novels of black comedy for adults.