Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who
Drank the Moon
by Kelly Barnhill
From the publisher:
"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."

I loved this book! I could take everything I said about Kelly Barnhill's The Witch's Boy and use it for this book as well (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...).   The Girl Who Drank the Moon is also a magical, lyrical fairy tale that promotes love, family, courage and forgiveness. There were parts of this book that sang, there were parts that wept, and there were parts that made my heart pound with excitement. I want to turn around and start reading it all over again. 

The characters were all so alive and real. There are quite a few that are intrinsically important to the story, but we don't know why until things all get wrapped up in the end. I loved them all so much and for such differing reasons. Fyrian was hysterical; Xan was loving and kind and good; Luna was adorably mischievous but spread such love; Antain was wise beyond his years; the poor, mad mother was so tortured; Glerk, the wise poet of the swamp, reminded me of Aslan. Around all of these characters were magic, sorrow, love and hope, all swirled together in a delicious way.

As with  The Witch's Boy, this one would make a wonderful read-aloud as a family or classroom. I highly, highly recommend it for middle grade on up through adults. 

Areas of concern:
*Babies are taken away from their families and "sacrificed" to the witch (nothing bad actually happens to the babies - they are given to good families who love them).
*There is a villain who is quite evil, but masks it with supposed goodness.
*A character is disfigured during an attack by magical creatures.

Suggested Ages:
Booklist - Grades 5-8
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 10+

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