Moonrise by Sarah Crossan


They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Cos people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.

Joe hasn’t seen his brother for ten years, and it’s for the most brutal of reasons. Ed is on death row.

But now Ed’s execution date has been set, and Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with him, no matter what other people think …


Ruby, SRWA

28th January 2020 at 1:11 pm

This book was amazing. I loved the way Sarah had typed it out. I would recommend this to anyone who loves reading as it was really fun to read and I loved that it made me feel all different emotions in one book.

Jess, SRWA

28th January 2020 at 1:08 pm

This was a beautifully written book.
I especially loved
the poetic format of the

The best thing about it was the building suspense.

Nimrod, Downlands Community School

26th January 2020 at 12:13 pm

Whilst the writing style was distracting at times, I found the overall impact of the story touching and insightful. I think the story was good – if slow – and although the story was good, I did recognise a few faults in the writing style. Although I see how, theoretically, a fresh writing manner (one that I certainly haven’t come across previously) could lift this book above the rest, I sometimes discovered a lack of emotion brought on by the fact that the disjointedness made it difficult to get attached to a particular character or theme. However, the meaningful and emotively-written message struck a chord with me, so I would recommend this book as long as you don’t mind slightly slow progression.

Yosola – Benenden

23rd January 2020 at 1:43 pm

I loved the plot and the characters in Moonrise. It really made me think and I felt a lot of sympathy for Joe and Ed.

Darcey, Benenden

23rd January 2020 at 10:50 am

This is one of my favourite books out of all the ones we read. I really enjoyed it! However, I would have liked the ending to have been a bit longer, it kind of rushed us along and I wanted more.

Annabel, Benenden

23rd January 2020 at 10:48 am

This book is about a girl called Stevie and a boy called Hafiz and their friendship. Stevie is a keen musician but her mother has severe depression after her dad died, and Hafiz is a refugee from Syria. They become firm friends and help each other through difficult times. I really liked this book and found it really interesting.

Alex, Benenden

23rd January 2020 at 10:47 am

This book was about a teenage musician called Stevie and a refugee boy called Hafiz. I was pleasantly surprised by this book the more I read the more I enjoyed it. The characters were very interesting and they gave me an insight in to what it’s like living as a refugee and living with someone with severe depression. Personally I think that the blurb of this book didn’t do it justice, because in my opinion the book was much better than the blurb made it out to be. The only thing that let me down about this book was the ending. I feel like the book could have used another chapter because it still left me wondering about some things. All in all it was a great book.

Amelia, Benenden

23rd January 2020 at 10:39 am

This book had an excellent plot, and probably the best ending, however the format it was written in made it quite difficult to read because of all the spaces. I did think it was a very good book despite that.

Darcey, Benenden

23rd January 2020 at 10:38 am

The storyline to this book was sad but amazing. I wasn’t keen on the style of writing but it didn’t matter because I loved the story.

Annabel, Benenden

23rd January 2020 at 10:37 am

This book is about a teenager called Joe and his struggles with having an older brother who is on death row. Ed is presumed guilty but Joe thinks he is innocent. Joe and Ed have the last few weeks being brothers like they missed out on for years. I enjoyed this book and it made me cry!

Alex, Benenden

23rd January 2020 at 10:36 am

Moonrise is a book about a man named Joe and how his brother Ed was wrongly accused of murder. I really liked this book and I found it very gripping, interesting and engaging. However I didn’t like that it was written in poetry format which made it quite irritating to see a 3 line chapter. I loved the characters and I really felt like I got to know them throughout the story. The ending was very sad and I ended up crying, but I did think that it was a good choice of ending for the book.

Jinn, Benenden

23rd January 2020 at 10:34 am

I really enjoyed this book and I thought the plot was realistic and was also really sad. I liked Joe a lot and thought he was such an inspiring character.

Tiffany, Lancing College

15th January 2020 at 5:46 pm

This book is about a teenager named Joe, who travels to Texas to visit his brother Ed. His brother has supposedly murdered a police officer causing him to be on death row.

In general it was a really heartbreaking story about loss, injustice and poverty. There are also lots of twists and surprises. This book was great at showing how a death sentence can affect an entire family. The words in this book have also been formatted in a really unique way, which makes it seem like every page is a new poem, story.

Overall, I didn’t really enjoy the ending of this book. But I would definitely recommend it to people who like a realistic story with deep meaning behind it.

Tiffany, Lancing College

15th January 2020 at 5:22 pm

Moonrise was a very well written book, though I didn’t enjoy reading it much. It would be a good book for people who enjoy reading realistic stories since people can face the problems in everyday life today. This story was also generally really sad, since it talks about a young man on death row, and how some of his family reacts to it.

Emily, Peacehaven

14th January 2020 at 12:21 pm

Moonrise is a book about two brothers coping with the fact that one could be given the death sentence. I liked the storyline and I liked the verse structure because it made it easier to read. I think some of the chapters could be left out because I personally didn’t think they added to the story. A very good quick read.

Lisa, Ardingly

9th January 2020 at 9:40 am

I really enjoyed this book as it was very engaging and realistic. I thought it was interesting to see the effects that the death row had on the families. Finally, the way that it was written with occasionally there only being one word on the page emphasised what it was saying. Overall, I thought this was a fantastic book and I would recommend it to others of a similar age.

Emily, Ardingly

23rd December 2019 at 1:57 pm


This book was a sad build up. I thought it would maybe get happier as time went on but it didn’t really. It was a bitter sweet book, and the writer wrote this book incredibly well as I did feel as though I was there and taking part in it. My favourite character was the brother.

Olivia, Ardingly

8th December 2019 at 8:49 pm

I love the way this book is written. It is a lovely gripping story. I would recommend it to people who like sad but romantic books.

Theo, Ardingly

8th December 2019 at 8:17 pm

Overall a solid story with functioning characters and a coherent storyline, I just feel that the emotional beats don’t hit as hard as they were clearly meant to.
My only real
Problem with this
Story is
Its very quirky writing
Off sentences at random.
It was quite distracting and I feel it only really works towards the end, after the brother dies.

Laura, Ardingly

5th December 2019 at 8:28 pm

Before reading this book, I knew fairly little about the Death Penalty in the USA and had no strong views either way. However, this book was extremely touching and has had a great effect on how I feel about capital punishment now. Although I found most of the book interesting, there were parts where I found it to be slightly dull. At first, I wasn’t pleased with the ending of the book, thinking that it didn’t finish the story properly and that it was too sad. However, over time I have decided that this is probably the best ending for the book as the truth is that people do die by the Death Penalty and if real life doesn’t always have a happy ending then why should books? So, to conclude, I found the topic inspiring and the book enjoyable to read.

Isabella, Hurst

20th November 2019 at 8:54 am

Moonrise: This book is the best because of the plot twist at the end after everything is about to resolve.


19th November 2019 at 1:09 pm

I did not like this book as it was slow and the build up was all for nothing and it was a rubbish ending.

Cher, SRWA

19th November 2019 at 1:04 pm

It wasn’t my cup of tea, but if you like realistic books about real-life issues, this book is for you. You can tell the writer is very passionate about this delicate subject and has done very well in writing this amazing book.

Ricardo, SRWA

19th November 2019 at 12:57 pm

Moonrise was a very depressing book that makes you question the judgement system in Texas America. It’s full of surprises and is great in showing how the looming death sentence affects his entire family. it also shows how people can grow past their upbringings to be better people.

Elise, Dorothy Stringer

19th November 2019 at 12:47 pm

I really liked this book as it seems so realistic and the way Sarah Crossan writes is so fresh/ different. This story is about a boy whose brother is on death row and it brought me to tears. Every character seemed 3d so I would give this a three stars because whilst it was lovely sometimes the style of writing was a bit confusing.

Tabitha, Dorothy Stringer School

19th November 2019 at 12:46 pm

Moonrise is an extremely insightful look into the effects that death row can have on a family, especially when it is caused by misunderstandings. The book is set in Texas, where a fatal misunderstanding causes Ed to be placed on death row. It begins when Ed has been in prison for several years beforehand, so his brother, Joe, hasn’t seen him for a while but is coming to visit him soon. Joe and their sister, Angela, are constantly being associated with a crime beyond what any of their family have ever committed- murder. And with time running out and Ed’s death date nearing, Joe needs to find a way to get him out.
The story is full of plot twists and raw emotion, which all come together to form a truly thought-provoking novel, making one of the darkest issues come to light.

Rose, Dorothy Stringer

19th November 2019 at 12:45 pm

This book is exceptionally written. I will start off on the word format. It’s like every page is a poem, a new story. I love how much the writer identifies with Joe, about how he is feeling and his worst fears for Ed. The actual story is emotional and heartbreaking. My realisation of Ed’s fate was an incredible feeling. It was as if the writer had come into my head and placed ‘shock’ in my brain. When I put it down, I was actually speechless and started to realise the level of writing in this novel . I’d never read a book like it and I completely recommend it to anyone wanting a story of reality.


19th November 2019 at 12:42 pm

What a wonderful thought provoking book! It shows the real stories of the families on both sides of the crime and how both can suffer in silence. Not only this but the writing was exceptional; it is the sort of book that I stayed up late reading and cried buckets at the end.

Hannah, Burgess Hill Girls

15th November 2019 at 7:55 am

This book is reality. Although it might seem quite dramtic, all the topics covered in the book could happen in real life. However, this book is set in America where the justice system is very different to that in England. In the USA, they have the death penalty and Moonrise is about just that.

Moonrise is about Joe, the main character. His brother Ed, was accused of murder. Joe travels to be with his brother in his last few months and begins to get to know him very well. But will anything prevent his dear brother from facing the hands of death?

One of the reasons I loved this book was the amazingly crafted characters. In this book they seemed very realistic to me. Although they were unlike me in more ways then one, they were very interesting. The main character, Joe, had had a harsh background as he had gone through poverty and seen the criminal system first hand. His brother’s actions had changed him. I found this very interesting as his character developed as the book develops.

Moonrise explores the issues of the American criminal justice system. It shows how brutal they are with the death penalty and makes the reader wonder if it is right? When I was reading, I started to think about some of the flaws in the system and what families and friends go through not just of the victim but of the criminal too.

I would definitely recommended this book to anyone fascinated by criminology. I really enjoyed this book because it was different. Most crime stories are told from the point of view of either the victim or the detective. Therefore, it was interesting to see a more emotional response to this sort of issue rather than a mystery aspect. I also loved this book because of the style it was written. I enjoyed the way it was poetic yet still factual and from a first-person perspective. In conclusion, I would definitly recommend this to anyone with an open and eager mind.

Ryan, Shoreham College

11th November 2019 at 9:10 am

This was a good and interesting story but it went on a bit too long and overall was dragged out.

Harry, Shoreham College

11th November 2019 at 9:08 am

This book was an interesting book about the effects of Death Row on a family but the book did go on a bit too long. Overall it was quite good and the ending was very sad.

Hannah, Ardingly College

7th November 2019 at 8:41 am

I really enjoyed reading Moonrise and I would recommend it to others of my age. I found the book very engaging and it really let me understand how lucky I am because Joe, the main character, had many struggles in his life from such a young age. The book was very sad and it let me see the world as it is for some people and how difficult life can be for them. I think that the book contained a few very important messages, such as how trust and forgiveness are important (Joe trusted in his brother despite how everyone around him told him that his brother was guilty). Also, how important and irreplaceable a life is. I did enjoy reading the book however, I kept hoping that the ending would be happy and everything would be resolved and this was not the case. Finally, Moonrise is written in verses and I quite like this. it makes the book quicker to read and more flowing. Also, occasionally, there were pages with just one sentence and this emphasises whatever is written, making that piece of information stand out. Overall, I really liked reading \moonrise and I would read other books by Sarah Crossan in the future.

Daniela, Dorothy Stringer

5th November 2019 at 8:40 am

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan is an interestingly structured story which revolves around Joe and his family and the way they cope with the fact that Joe’s brother was wrongly accused with murder. This book was really gripping and it raised awareness of a serious topic. This is a book I think everyone should read!

Tom, Shoreham College

4th November 2019 at 9:11 am

I really enjoyed Moon Rise, I found that the subject they tackled was really interesting and in depth. I thought that the author really expressed the different characters’ emotions and really got me hooked into the book, I suggest reading it because its a great read.

Monty, Ardingly

23rd October 2019 at 11:43 am

Moonrise is a book about a Joe, a teenager, whose brother has been wrongly accused of murder and has just had his death date set. I really liked this book as throughout the book it was really emotional and easy for the reader to follow. Although I didn’t find many reasons to dislike the book, there was one thing I didn’t enjoy: that Ed died. Overall a really good book.


22nd October 2019 at 9:12 pm

“Moonrise” by Sarah Crossan was a heart-warming story exploring the love and relationship between two brothers, one on death row, the other supporting him in anyway possible. Throughout the book, you see the main character developing as a person, especially after the upbringing he had.
However, some parts of the book I personally found repeated itself a bit, but because of the structure it was written in, it wasn’t boring to read.
I would recommend this book to people who like quick but interesting reads.

Clara, Downlands Community School

17th October 2019 at 7:45 pm

“Moonrise” by Sarah Crossan was a heartbreaking and thought-provoking book. I enjoyed the unique way in which it was written and I found the characters strong
and the relationships between them moving.

Sophie, Ardingly

12th October 2019 at 9:49 am

I really enjoyed this book because I am interested in death row and other subjects to do with it. The way the book expressed not only the person who was going to be killed but his brother’s was a good way of showing something that isn’t usually paid attention to in modern cases/the press today. Overall I would recommend this book to anyone. The way it is very easy to read and I felt it was just a really good read.

Agatha, Ardingly

29th September 2019 at 7:30 pm

This book really related to me in the sense of siblings and the crazy things you would do for them. I loved the way the book was laid out like the way people think in their mind, it was very random but it was all understandable. The sentences were like the thoughts running through his head. What I really enjoyed was the way we were told a fact and then to explain it, there were snippets of the book where we went back in time to see what happened. Although sometimes I couldn’t tell what was past and what was present, It was a really new and interesting way to set out the story. My favourite character was Ed, the kindness he held towards his siblings, the optimism he had even when his days grew numbered and the fierceness he felt towards his siblings when they were in danger or against his mother when she said or did something against them. I really love him for that. It should be a crime to end a book in that way, the amount of tears produced were way too many to be reasonable. It was such a lovely book.

Olivia, Ardingly

29th September 2019 at 2:46 pm

Such an amazing book! I would definitely read again. I would recommend this book to people who like romance and sadness.

Alice, Ardingly

26th September 2019 at 4:35 pm

This book is definitely my new favourite book. Although I was not used to the very different style of writing, I still loved every moment of the book. Once I started this book I found it really hard to stop! I felt like I was a part of the book throughout it. I was so engrossed in it that I felt so sad when the book came to an end. Moonrise has taught me not to judge a book by its cover and not to believe everything the news says. I am so glad that I read this book as it really has changed the way I think.

A student at Ardingly College

22nd September 2019 at 9:37 am

This book was a heart wrenching and beautiful story of a boy and the effects of his brother being on death row has on his life. It has love, hate and everything in between. The way it’s written makes it even more beautiful. I really enjoyed reading it.

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