Under the Dusty Moon


2016 Junior Library Guild Selection
2016 VOYA Top Shelf Fiction Selection
CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens (Fall 2016) — Commended

She’s with the band, whether she likes it or not.

Victoria Mahler is the sixteen-year-old only daughter of rocker Micky Wayne, whose band, Dusty Moon, took the world by storm when Micky was just a teenager. The band broke up under mysterious circumstances, but, after years spent off the road being a mom, Micky’s solo career is finally starting to take off.

When an offer to tour Japan falls into her mom’s lap, Vic is left to spend the summer under the care of her distant grandmother, and without her built-in best friend. Fortunately, a boy with a secret geek side and a group of feminist game-makers save the season, and Vic starts to see herself as her own person, out from under her mother’s shadow.

But when Micky finally comes home — with a poorly chosen boyfriend in tow — all bets are off. Will Vic be able to maintain her newfound sense of self amidst the building thunder of Micky’s second chance at stardom? And through it all, will Micky still really be her best friend?


Junior Library Guild Selection
Dewey Diva Picks
CCBC’s Best Books for Kids and Teens (Fall 2016)
VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers


Sutherland’s first novel [When We Were Good] keeps the story fresh. A bit like Weetzie Bat with the wings ripped off.

Globe and Mail, for When We Were Good

A quick, light read that confronts universal issues tweens face in their lives. Jo is an honest, likeable girl trying to find her way through uncharted territory…

CM Magazine, for Something Wiki

“A mix of Gilmore Girls and Empire Records, Under the Dusty Moon is beautifully empowering for the reader as Vic finds herself through fandom, classic rock, and her complicated relationship with her famous mother.”

author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks

“I loved this story of daughters and mothers, fame and its aftermath, and a cringe-inducingly realistic romance. Suzanne Sutherland expertly weaves together Vic’s complicated emotions as she deals with her mother’s shifting stardom, a changing friendship, and her first relationship.”

author of Kissing Ted Callahan (and other guys)

“Readers will cringe at Vic’s failures and cheer for her triumphs.”

Kirkus Reviews

Sex, drugs (a couple marijuana cigarettes, a little rum and coke), and rock and roll all rolled up in an appealing package.


“Minor dilemmas cause major angst for the 16-year-old daughter of a grunge-era rocker … the relationship between Vic and Micky is the heart of the story.”

Publishers Weekly

Set against the true-to-life background of downtown Toronto, Sutherland’s novel is a well-crafted portrait of the punk rock potential found in unlikely sources.

National Post

Sutherland nails the unglamorous reality of the city’s sweltering summers with refreshingly true-to-life characters that have thighs rubbing together and that lament the discomfort of boiling streetcars.

The Globe and Mail

Under the Dusty Moon provides intimate glimpses into a mother and daughter’s unorthodox, shifting relationship set against the particular hum of the city.

Quill and Quire

About the Author

Suzanne Sutherland

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014

Suzanne Sutherland

Suzanne Sutherland is the author of two previous novels, Something Wiki and When We Were Good, which was a finalist for the inaugural Speaker's Young Authors Award and selected for the American Library Association's Rainbow List. She lives in Toronto.