Rummanah Aasi
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.


Review: The Girl Who Drank the Moon has been on my reading pile ever since it received numerous starred reviews. After it won the Newbery Award, I knew I had to move it up in my reading schedule and I so happy that I finally got a chance to read this spectacular book. The book deserves all the accolade and hype it received and I highly recommend it.
   Every year, the people of the Protectorate brace themselves for the Day of Sacrifice, when the elders take the city’s youngest baby and leave it in the woods to appease the witch -- a witch no one has seen, but whose reputation is cruel and bloodthirsty. The elders approve of the Day of Sacrifice as it becomes a means to control the their community. The real witch of the forest is the benevolent Xan who safely rescues the babies and finds home for them. In fact she breaks her own rule and adopts a magical baby she dubs Luna, whom she brings home to live with her own family that already includes a beloved bog monster who loves poetry named Glerk and an adorable youthful dragon named Fyrian. 
  We watch as Luna grows into a young teen with a big mission to accomplish. She learns how to use her magic while being aware of its costs. In separate plot-lines we discover Luna's real mother, the sorrowful and guilt stricken Protectorate rebel who wants to end Sacrifice Day for his community, and finally discover the true and malevolent Witch of Sacrifice Day, who is hiding behind the identity of a respected person in the city. The book has a steady pace as it builds its multiple layers, however, the danger and suspense builds to a climax as our heroes battle the great villain. There are many plot-lines in this book, but I never felt lost and each added a necessary layer to the story. I loved that the characters are nuanced and three dimensional. Even the villains are flawed but real characters.
 With lyrical writing, Barnhill weaves a mesmerizing, multi-layered original fairy tale where love in all its different facets (familial, maternal, filial, and friendly) truly conquerors all. The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a must read and I would not be surprised if the book's rights have been purchased in Hollywood as it would be a fantastic movie to watch.


Rating: 5 stars

Words of Caution: There are some disturbing images and themes. Recommended for Grades 5 and up.

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4 Responses
  1. Oh wow! This sounds fabulous. I'm always on the lookout for these kinds of books to gift (and read before I gift it LOL).


  2. Amanda Says:

    Wow! This must be one of the very few books you gave 5 stars so far!!!


  3. 5 stars! I hope the students are enjoying this one


  4. Nina Says:

    I might just get this one for my students as well. And I just love the title and cover of the book.


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