Key, Watt 1970-
Key, Watt 1970-
Born 1970, in Point Clear, AL; married; wife's name Katie. Education: Birmingham-Southern College, B.A.
Alabama Moon (young-adult novel) Farrar Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2006.
Watt Key's first novel, Alabama Moon, was influenced by his own experiences growing up hunting and fishing in the woodlands of Alabama. The ten-year-old protagonist, Moon, is the son of a survivalist who died while running from the government. Having been taught by his father how to survive in the woods, Moon lives alone. Distrustful of the government, Moon wants to travel to Alaska, where his father told him people could still live off the land. However, when he is taken to a boy's home for foster care, Moon makes his first friends. Recruiting a few of these kids, he escapes from the home to return to the woods. When his best friend, Kit, falls ill and Moon's herbal remedies cannot cure him, the young boy begins to question his dead father's wisdom.
Key's debut novel won praise from reviewers. Booklist contributor John Green calling Alabama Moon an "excellent novel of survival and adventure." Green went on to comment that the work is "perfectly paced, and Moon's narration is thoroughly believable." Nancy P. Reeder, writing in School Library Journal, considered the novel to be "well written with a flowing style, plenty of dialogue, and lots of action," and Horn Book critic Vicky Smith termed it a "winningly fresh and sympathetic look at a life and culture almost never seen in children's books." Tanya Lee Stone, writing in the New York Times Book Review, concluded that Alabama Moon is an "unusual coming-of-age story" with a "rich cast of supporting characters."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, November 1, 2006, John Green, review of Alabama Moon, p. 52.
Children's Bookwatch, December, 2006, review of Alabama Moon.
Horn Book, October-November, 2006, Vicky Smith, review of Alabama Moon, p. 589.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2006, review of Alabama Moon, p. 845.
Kliatt, September, 2006, Myrna Marler, review of Alabama Moon, p. 14.
New York Times Book Review, February 11, 2007, Tanya Lee Stone, review of Alabama Moon.
Publishers Weekly, October 2, 2006, review of Alabama Moon, p. 63.
School Library Journal, September, 2006, Nancy P. Reeder, review of Alabama Moon, p. 209.
Decatur Daily Online,http://www.decaturdaily.com/ (July 30, 2006), Dawn McNutt, review of Alabama Moon.
Watt Key Home Page,http://www.wattkey.com (March 12, 2007).