Alabama Moon by Watt Key is a unique, action-packed coming-of-age story in the vein of classics such as Louis Sachar’s Holes, Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet, and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Since its release in September of 2006 it has quickly won the hearts of readers young and old.

The novel has received attention from publications such as The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and is the winner of several awards including the EB White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers 2007 and the Parent's Choice - Gold Medal in 2006.  

The novel has been translated into five languages.  It was recently nominated for the German Youth Literature Award 2009. This award has been issued by the German section of the International Board on Books for Young People since 1955, and Watt Key received a nomination in the children's middle grade novels category. The presentation will take place at Frankfurt Book Fair on October 16 2009. Dressler (Germany), Kinneret (Israel), Kaisei-sha (Japan), and INK Pub (Taiwan) have published it.

ALABAMA MOON has become required summer reading in several middle schools across the country including, among others, those in the State of New York, Ohio, Alabama, and North Carolina. It is also being taught school-wide at Daphne Middle School in Daphne, Alabama. 

Published in hardcover by Farrar Straus Giroux (2006; now in its eighth printing) and paperback by Square Fish (2008; now in its fifth printing), it has achieved combined sales of over 100,000 in the US.



  • A Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner
  • Winner of the 2007 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award for Older Readers
  • Winner of the 2007 SIBA Book Award for a Children’s Book
  • A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year
  • A VOYA Top Shelf Fiction Pick for Middle School Readers
  • A Book Sense Children’s Pick
  • Kentucky Bluegrass State Award Master List
  • Selected by Barnes & Noble for their 2006 Discover Great New Writers program
  • Chosen as a Borders Original Voice
  • Finalist for the 2009 German Youth Literature Award



  • Booklist
  • Bulletin-Center Child Books
  • Horn Book
  • Kirkus Reviews
  • New York Times Book Review
  • Publishers Weekly
  • School Library Journal



« “[An] excellent novel of survival and adventure... Stylistically, the book is perfectly paced, and Moon’s narration is thoroughly believable. A terrific choice for reluctant readers and for fan’s of Gary Paulsen’s Brian novels.”  — Booklist / starred review

« “This book is reminiscent of Huck Finn, Hatchet or Far North, perhaps even The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, but it’s also completely original. The voice is intriguing, believable in its innocence as Moon looks at the world with fresh
eyes. It’s also packed with arcane nature lore. Moon learns that the world his father retreated from is black and white and every shade of gray. There are no easy answers to how to survive in such a world, but, for certain, Moon will find a way.” — Kliatt

« “An amazing tale of a boy forced to make life-changing decisions long before his time, Alabama Moon is an arresting work of fiction for readers of all ages.” — Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers program

« “This debut novel is absolutely first-rate.”  — Parents’ Choice

« “In spare, unsentimental prose, Key offers a convincing portrait…. [The] fast pacing, adventurous storyline and true-to-life details about the natural world combine to produce a strikingly new kind of adventure novel.” — BookPage





Albert Watkins Key, Jr., publishing under the name Watt Key, is an award-winning southern fiction author. He grew up and currently lives in southern Alabama with his wife and family. Watt spent much of his childhood hunting and fishing the forests of Alabama, which inspired his debut novel, ALABAMA MOON, published to national acclaim in 2006. ALABAMA MOON won the 2007 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award and has been translated in five languages.

His next book, Dirt Road Home, will be available in fall 2010 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers.

You can visit him on the web at