“Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Some of the most wonderful things in the world are invisible. Trusting in invisible things makes them more powerful and wondrous.– Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon
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. 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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Barnhill is an author and teacher. She won the World Fantasy Award for her novella The Unlicensed Magician, a Parents Choice Gold Award for Iron Hearted Violet, the Charlotte Huck Honor for The Girl Who Drank the Moon, and has been a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the Andre Norton award, and the PEN/USA literary prize. She was also a McKnight Artist’s Fellowship recipient in Children’s Literature. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her three children and husband. You can chat with her on her blog at www.kellybarnhill.com
I remember being attracted to the cover of this book the first time I saw it 3 years ago and I was able to buy the book at a discount at the 40th Manila International Book Fair (if you haven’t read my post about it you can check it out here.). This was such a whimsically light read for me – a proper MG story correctly crafted for a younger audience. It’s actually a perfect chapter book to read to children at bed time.
The settings and the characters of this book reminded me so much of The Neverending Story and The Dark Crystal – a whimsical land with dragons, beasts as old as the land itself, witches both good and bad, and the stories told to children – stories to frighten, teach, or spark curiosity.
There were a lot of different character in this book who battled with how society dictated they should be and found a strength they knew was there but didn’t really know how to utilize until the right time. We also see different kinds of love – from a mother who has lost a child, a child who has only ever known a grandmother, between friends, from people who have welcomed abandoned children into their homes, and surprisingly from someone they thought were enemies.
How many feelings can one heart hold?… Infinite, Luna thought. The way the universe is infinite. It is light and dark and endless motion; it is space and time, and space within space, and time within time. And she knew: there is no limit to what the heart can carry.― Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon
`I enjoyed this book and I’ve passed it on to one of my workmates who is also a reader and I know she’ll enjoy it too. I mostly never lend my books out but this one needed to be shared.
I have to confess I haven’t been reading much this month. My weekends have been spent going to one place or another. It’s been a wonderful kind of chaos. What have you been reading lately? Have you read this book? What did you think about it? Do send me some love at the comments.