Review: The Girl who Drank the Moon

This is a magical and haunting novel that will stay with you with you long after you have closed the cover. It is an enchanting modern fairy tale that will draw you into its mysterious world of witches, a swamp monster and a magical girl named Luna.

However, this book is so much more than that, with its elegant prose, high emotion and characters that you can’t help but connect with and care about.

The people of the protectorate live under a cloud of sorrow. They carry on with their daily lives in the knowledge that each year, on the day of sacrifice, they must leave the town’s youngest child in the forest for the witch. If they don’t, they are sure the witch will destroy them all.

Each year a good witch by the name of Xan comes to the clearing in the forest to rescue a baby abandoned by the people of the protectorate. She doesn’t question why they leave a baby there, but she knows she must save it. She delivers these ‘star children’ to the people of the free cities on the other side of the forest, where they are raised in loving families, never knowing they were abandoned.

Then one day, the witch rescues a baby girl. There is something about this baby. Something special. Xan is drawn to her, with her crescent moon birthmark on her forehead. She feeds the baby starlight, as she does all the babies, to keep them thriving until she can place them with a new family. But this baby she also feeds moonlight. She didn’t mean to. Or did she? With moonlight comes magic. Xan knows she must keep the baby now; teach her how to use the magic she has been given.

And so begins this thought provoking and mysterious story that delves into the deepest sorrows of the human heart yet is at the same time uplifting and beautiful.

Barnhill has created a fantasy world that will ignite your imagination and surround your thoughts and senses as you immerse yourself in this beautiful story. You will come to know the Bog monster, who is at once the poet, the world and the bog itself, and has been there as long as time. You will know the dark and sinister evil that has returned to the world and is prowling at night. And you will feel the light and the hope in the magic that is lying dormant in Luna, readying itself to come out.

This is also a tale of human spirit. It is about searching for belonging, finding your inner courage and understanding power. This is a remarkable middle grade novel that will be appreciated equally by teens and adults.


Title: The Girl who Drank the Moon
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Publisher: Picadilly Press, $16.99
Publication Date: 24 August 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781848126473
For ages: 10+
Type: Middle Grade

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