Red Moon Rising

Posted on Jun 5, 2016 in BR Library

9781481436267By K. A. Holt
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 336
Lexile: 760L
Age Range: 10 – 14 Years

Space-farmer Rae Darling is kidnapped and trained to become a warrior against her own people in this adventurous middle grade space western.

Rae Darling and her family are colonists on a moon so obscure it doesn’t merit a name. Life is hard, water is scarce, and the farm work she does is grueling. But Rae and her sister Temple are faced with an added complication—being girls is a serious liability in their strict society. Even worse, the Cheese—the colonists’ name for the native people on the moon—sometimes kidnap girls from the human colony. And when Rae’s impetuous actions disrupt the fragile peace, the Cheese come for her and Temple.

Though Rae and Temple are captives in the Cheese society, they are shocked to discover a community full of kindness and acceptance. Where the human colonists subjugated women, the Cheese train the girls to become fierce warriors. Over time, Temple forgets her past and becomes one of the Cheese, but Rae continues to wonder where her loyalties truly lie. When her training is up, will she really be able to raid her former colony? Can she kidnap other girls, even if she might be recruiting them to a better life?

When a Cheese raid goes wrong and the humans retaliate, Rae’s loyalty is put to the ultimate test. Can Rae find a way to restore peace—and preserve both sides of herself?



“A teenager begins to question everything she thought she knew after she and her sister are kidnapped. The abductors: creatures native to the tiny, inhospitable moon on which 13-year-old Rae Darling’s colony has struggled to survive for decades. Impulsive, strong-minded Rae chafes at the religious doctrines that restrict opportunities for girls in her culture, and she’s both delighted and terrified to learn that women are prized as warriors and leaders by the so-called Cheese (real name Kihuut). Though Rae yearns to go home, she starts to enjoy her newfound acceptance, responsibility, and martial training among the Kihuut. When long-standing tensions erupt into all-out conflict, Rae has to choose which side she’s on. Holt (House Arrest) makes it easy to sympathize with Rae’s new clan, less so with the close-minded and reactionary humans from whom she was stolen. While this leads to a certain element of predictability, Holt still delivers an entertaining tale that presents some thought-provoking ethical dilemmas, while also making points about colonialism and respect for native cultures.”
Ages 10–14. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Feb.)
—Publishers Weekly

“Nonstop action, a spunky and thoughtful heroine, and the foreign but believable setting will lasso readers and have them hoping for a sequel.”