Me (Moth) by Amber McBride

Photo Credit Amazon

Bibliographic Information:

Title: Me (Moth)

Author: Amber McBride

ISBN: 978-1250780362

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publishing Date: 2021

Genre/Format of the Item: Book




Finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

2022 Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent Winner

2022 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2021

Reading Level/Interest Level:

Grades 8-12 (NoveList)

Plot Summary: Moth has lost everything that she loves: her family in a car accident and her grandfather a year prior. She lives with her Aunt Jake who takes little notice of her and eventually leaves her on her own. Her only friend is Sani, a classmate struggling with his own sense of self. Moth and Sani embark on a roadtrip across the United States to return to Sani’s home on the Navajo Reservation. Along the way, Moth and Sani find solace in each other and peace with their identities and lives. They visit important places in their past and share their stories with one another: Moth sharing her grandfather’s Hoodoo tales and Sani sharing his knowledge of Navajo traditional stories and folklore. Once Sani and Moth arrive at the reservation, their connection seems to change. The truth that emerges will change both of their lives.

Photo Credit Amber McBride

Author Background: Amber McBride was born in Germany and traveled around the United States for much of her youth. McBride graduated with a BA in English from James Madison University. McBride then graduated with a Masters in Fine Art in Poetry from Emerson College. She is a professor of English Composition, English Literature, and Introduction to Poetry at various colleges and currently teaches at the University of Virginia. McBride is also a poet and an author of young adult and middle grade books (McBride, n.d.)

(Books are Magic, 2021)

Critical Evaluations: This book left a lasting impression on me. I was completely blind-sided by the ending and went back and reread parts of the book. I haven’t been that surprised by a book in a long time. I thought that it was beautifully written and I think that writing it in poetic form was a perfect format for the story. I think that teenagers will be able to relate to Sani and Moth in many ways. I really like how McBride wove Navajo and Hoodoo culture and folklore into the book. A teen reviewer on Teen Ink stated that, “Overall, I would say that Me (Moth) is a wonderful read for young adults” (Thatcontrolplayer, 2022).

Creative Use for a Library Program: This book would be a good book to use in a library program that explores family traditions and folklore/creation stories. The event could include teens coming to the library for an evening event that includes reading passages of this book aloud and discussing different family folklore. The teens could work in pairs and create their own stories or spoken word poetry that might reflect their lives. There would be food and sharing if the teens wanted.

(Me (Amber McBride) on hiatus, 2022)

Speedround/Book Trailer: Have you ever felt so alone that you just wanted to disappear, but then someone somewhere changes your life forever? This captivating tale of Moth and Sani will change you forever- you will want to reread it as soon as you turn the last page. Read Me (Moth) by Amber McBride to learn how friendship can help you get to where you are destined to be.

Potential Challenge Issues/Defense Preparations: This book may be challenged for the content regarding creation stories of the Hoodoo and Navajo cultures. While this may make some people uncomfortable, it is important for teen readers to learn about stories and the lives of people who once inhabited this land and those who were forced into slavery.

Reason for Inclusion: I included this book for many reasons. It left a lasting impression on me and I thought that teenagers would also have a similar feeling. I also really liked how it explored both the Navajo and Hoodoo cultural habits and stories. I think that many teenagers can learn a lot from reading this book.


Books Are Magic. (2021, August 19). ME (MOTH) | Amber McBride & Mahogany L. Browne [Video]. YouTube.

Me (Amber McBride) on hiatus (@ambsmcbride). (2022, June 27). Still speechless & honored & humbled & bundles of gratitude & buckets of joy & oceans of offerings & expansive sky of ancestors & soul-fulls of love. Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award. Endless thanks. @CSKBART_ALA [Tweet]. Twitter.

McBride, A. (n.d.). Press kit.

Thatcontrolplayer (Screen name). (2022, January 10). Me (Moth) the poetic book review. [Review of the book Me (Moth) by Amber McBride]. Teen Ink.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s