The Girl Who Drank the Moon
August 9, 2016
Algonquin Young Readers
Source: from pub for review
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.
The acclaimed author of The Witch’s Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic.
Believing there to be a witch in the woods, the scared people of the Protectorate, each year, offer up the youngest baby in the town, hoping to appease the witch. These people are correct to believe a witch in the woods exist, but she isn’t the evil, baby eating monster they fear. Instead, each year she rescues these babies and gives them to deserving families in far away cities...until one year she accidentally enmagicks a baby girl by feeding her moonlight. With no other choice, the witch, Xan, raises the magic baby, Luna, with the help of an impossibly small dragon named Fyrian and a swamp monster with a heart of gold named Glerk. But the magic inside Luna is more powerful than anything and as her 13th birthday approaches, Xan knows everything will change.
Y’all, I LOVE ADORE AM CRAZY for this middle-grade book! The Girl Who Drank the Moon is utterly astonishing and gorgeous in every way. Kelly Barnhill is a word wizard and weaves a spellbinding, lush, lyrical story that will enchant and enrapture readers of all ages.
Barnhill’s words are pure, sparkly magic and her storytelling is simply lovely. With rich, stunning prose that flows effortlessly and beautifully, and a pitch-perfect fantasy voice, I greedily drank in every delicious drop of The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Barnhill does a superb job of mixing together all things fantastical, quirky, whimsical, and adventurous, to create a tale that feels wonderfully classic and timeless, yet excitingly new and innovative. Young readers will be enthralled by the thrilling magical elements, intrigued by the complex setting, and charmed by the irresistible characters.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon is inhabited by some of the most unforgettable middle-grade characters that I’ve met in a long time. Barnhill carefully crafts each of her characters with depth, thoughtfulness, and moonlight I’m sure! From heartfelt Xan to fierce, capable, vulnerable Luna, sweet Fyrian, lovable Glerk, wise Antain, and a few awesomely wicked antagonists, these characters captivate and delight!
My final thoughts: I couldn’t put The Girl Who Drank the Moon down and loved every awe-inspiring, tear inducing, gasp-worthy, and goosebump making moment of it! This is one of those extraordinary and beautiful stories that magic their way deep into your heart.
Kelly Barnhill writes novels for children and short stories for adults and poetry that she whispers in the dark when no one is listening. The Girl Who Drank the Moon is her most recent novel.