The Girl Who Drank the Moon

36589905

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

By: Kelly Barnhill
Published: 2016
# of pages:  400
Challenges:  A to Z, Full House (coming of age)

Goodreads description:

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

My opinion:  This was such a great, fun book to read!  It’s a children’s book that I think would be great starting around 4th or 5th grade.  It’s a great fantasy/fairy tale with good characters, evil characters, fantastic creatures such as a dragon and swamp monster, and an intriguing setting of a sorrowful town, large cities, and a dense forest with a bog and restless volcano.

The story follows Xan, a gentle witch who lives in the forest and rescues the children the sorrowful town abandons.  One year Xan rescues a baby and starts to fall in love with her on the journey to the cities.  She ends up feeding the baby moonlight instead of starlight, which fills the baby with magic.  So Xan decides to keep the baby and names her Luna.

Luna grows up surrounded by love in her forest cabin, but unfortunately the town she leaves behind isn’t so lucky.  Years pass as the reader sees what happens to Xan and Luna and also the slow changes that take place in the town.  Everything builds up and Luna needs to take action before it all explodes.

I appreciated the way the author wrote this book to be entertaining but also thought provoking.  It would be easy for kids to read, but it doesn’t “talk down” to them.  It’s beautifully written and children and adults alike can appreciate the descriptions.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Beautifully written story with a great message.  Appeals to both children and adults.  Realistic characters.  A little too wordy at times for my personal tastes.


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