The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill is an award-winning middle grade fantasy book. Despite being active in the book communities across social media, I stumbled upon this book by chance while in Barnes and Noble.
My husband takes me shopping for books every year for my birthday, and I saw The Girl Who Drank The Moon perched on a shelf among other award-winning books. Something about both the cover and the title kept causing me to circle back, and it was one of my chosen books I purchased that day. However, it sat several weeks on my nightstand untouched. I both love that I read the story when I did and regret that I did not dive into it earlier.
My New Favorite Book
Without any exaggeration, The Girl Who Drank The Moon is my all-time favorite fiction book. I have read a lot of books over 30 years. Hundreds. Thousands, truthfully. But. This. Book. There’s something both different and magical within the narrative that keeps my heart swirling with hope. My mind keeps wandering back to the story world.
I say without any hesitancy that The Girl Who Drank the Moon has firmly planted itself as the absolute number one favorite book on my all time favorite book list, and I highly doubt its roots will be shaken anytime soon.
Elements I Love About The Girl Who Drank The Moon
Some elements that make this book spectacular, wonderful, and utterly magical include:
- A multi-faceted narrative with a folkloric atmosphere
- Found family and positive relationships
- The Bog
- A Simply Enormous Dragon
- A Glerk
- A Luna
- A crow
- A Grandmama
- A madwoman
- Paper birds
- Unconditional love—love that never divides but multiplies
- And, most of all, hope; the kind that seeps out from the text, like moonlight for an unsuspecting witch trying to feed a baby, and satiates readers like me. Like you. Like us.
Rather than paraphrase the book’s plot in my own words, I will share with you the blurb on the back cover:
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…
Concluding Thoughts on The Girl Who Drank The Moon
Cannot recommend enough. Will never not recommend this book moving forward. I believe more independent young readers will love this book reading alone, but even reluctant readers or less fluent early middle grade readers will love this book as a read aloud with loved ones. A perfect book to read together as family at bed time for children 8 and up; young adult readers and adult readers will undoubtedly adore the love and hope within the narrative, too.
Best. Book. Ever.
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