The Girl Who Drank the Moon’s beautiful cover and magical title had attracted my attention for months but, since I don’t read much children’s literature, it never made it to the top of my TBR pile until it won the Newbery Medal and became the topic of conversation in the children’s department. Parent’s were asking about it, kids wanted to know why their teachers said they should read it, coworkers were looking for talking points–basically this book became homework. Wonderful wonderful homework.
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.
Blurb from algonquinyoungreaders.com
Engaging from the very beginning, The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a story that will enchant kids of all ages. In fact, I think that older children, teens, and even adults will find more to love in this novel than younger readers. There is a definite political element to the novel and a touch of dystopian mixed with the fantasy which may go over the heads of younger or less-worldly readers but it is not so heavy as to dilute the magic nature of the book. The audiobook narration by Christina Moore just adds to the wonderful reading experience. Her characterizations are spot on and will be sure to please even the most discriminating story-time listeners. I definitely recommend this read to everyone. It was the best homework I’ve had in a long time 🙂
Rating: 4 stars
Title: The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Narrator: Christina Moore
Release Date: August 2016