Joyous & Moonbeam by Richard Yaxley
Joyous & Moonbeam explores the unlikely friendship between Joyous, an intellectually disabled 33-year-old, and Moonbeam, a troubled teenage girl. Despite being bullied, both at school and at home, Joyous has a wonderfully positive outlook on life, which, in his words, is ‘all joyous, even the bad bits’. In sharp contrast, Moonbeam’s worldview is deeply pessimistic, borne out of the disintegration of her parents’ relationship.
Strangely enough, each is exactly what the other needs. Moonbeam awakens Joyous to the true meaning of friendship and independence, and he, in turn, teaches her to look at the world through new eyes to see that life is worth living.
Award-winning author Richard Yaxley tells this heartwarming story through the voices of three very different characters, each with their own distinctive perspective and style. The unconventional language and made-up words of Joyous in particular demands an adaptable reader, but therein lies the reward. A compelling read for adults and young adults, ages 14 and up.
Athina Clarke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Malvern.