The Girl Who Drank the Moon
by Kelly Barnhill
published by Algonquin Young Readers
August 9, 2016
The story starts out slowly as we meet the characters and different story lines. This fantasy novel is complete with dragons, monsters and witches. It also has story lore, Elders and Council Members. Characters that don't know the truth, characters that hide the truth. Characters who are exactly who we think they are and characters who have hidden secrets. All of these things come together in ways that while, are not unexpected, but is so smooth, there's no bump in your reading.
A book that requires stamina and being able to follow the story lines, this book is perfect for older middle grade readers. With its complex story, I think it would be great to use in book clubs, where conversation and thinking will be at its best. I hope this is a book you add to your classroom or library this August!
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.
And lucky for readers, Kelly Barnhill has written a prequel in 2 parts for this story. Published in Entertainment.com, I am so grateful Trevor Ingerson tweeted these links out. Be sure to read part 1 and part 2.