The Girl Who Drank the Moon Summary and Reviews

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

by Kelly Barnhill

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2016
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch's Boy.

Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal
The New York Times Bestseller
An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016
A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016
An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016
Named to KirkusReviews' Best Books of 2016
2017 Booklist Youth Editors' Choice

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. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers 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 girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna's thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge--with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth's surface. And the woman with the Tiger's heart is on the prowl...

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Book Awards

  • award image The John Newbery Medal, 2017

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. An expertly woven and enchanting offering for readers who love classic fairy tales. Grades 4-6" - School Library Journal

"Impossible to put down . . . The Girl Who Drank the Moon is as exciting and layered as classics like Peter Pan or TheWizard of Oz." - The New York Times Book Review
 
"Starred Review. Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick . . . Replete with traditional motifs, this nontraditional fairy tale boasts sinister and endearing characters, magical elements, strong storytelling, and unleashed forces." - Kirkus Reviews
 
"Starred Review. Rich with multiple plotlines that culminate in a suspenseful climax, characters of inspiring integrity, a world with elements of both whimsy and treachery, and prose that melds into poetry. A sure bet for anyone who enjoys a truly fantastic story." - Booklist
 
"Starred Review. Barnhill crafts another captivating fantasy, this time in the vein of Into the Woods . . . Barnhill delivers an escalating plot filled with foreshadowing, well-developed characters, and a fully realized setting, all highlighting her lyrical storytelling." - Publishers Weekly
 
"Starred Review. Barnhill writes with gentle elegance, conveying a deeply emotional and heartrending tale with accessible, fluid prose. Characters are skillfully developed: the heroes are flawed, the villains are humanized, and they are forgiven for sins they may or may have not intended. The swamp monster and dragon provide plenty of moments of humor to leaven the pathos, while the setting is infused with fairy tale elements, both magical and menacing, and given a tragic history. Fans of Barnhill's The Witch's Boy and Iron Hearted Violet will find similar intersections of love, loss, and identity here." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
 
"Starred Review. The Girl Who Drank the Moon takes a probing look at social complexity and the high cost of secrets and lies, weaving multiple perspectives, past and present, into one cleverly unfolding fairy tale. Barnhill crafts wonderfully imperfect characters with poetic prose, warmth and wit. The resiliency of the heroes may be partly because of magic, but also because of critical thinking, empathy, deep love and the strength of family in all its unconventional manifestations. Thoughtful and utterly spellbinding." - Shelf Awareness for Readers

"Magic, witches, moonlight, starlight, a baby dragon and baby sacrifice swirl together in this spell-binding high fantasy." - San Francisco Chronicle "A gorgeously written fantasy about a girl who becomes "enmagicked" after the witch who saves her from death feeds her moonlight." - People

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Author Information

Kelly Barnhill Author Biography

Kelly Barnhill is a poet and fiction writer. She has also penned numerous nonfiction books for children about the history of the sewer system, horrifying medical practices, and other topics that are designed to delight the fourth grade boys of the world. The Mostly True Story of Jack is her debut children's book. Kelly lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children.

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