Once there was a young man, and a witch, and a madwoman, and a “simply enormous dragon,” and star children, and sorrow, and a Luna girl, and a Gherk, and a Bog. Once there were all of these people and things who were so much more than what they were, but somehow the extraordinary were masked behind the lack of imagination of the Protectorate. This Council of Elders were so oppressive they thought the scary stories they spread around were lies, and I guess in a way they were… but there was more that was truth than was not.
More below for The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill.
Every year, during the Day of Sacrifice, the youngest baby would be left in the forest for The Witch. Most families were resigned to this fate. But one year, a mother went crazy and refused to give up her baby girl. They locked her up and she went mad. Little Alain felt horrible about that and could not stop thinking about her and the baby. Both needn’t have worried. The Witch was actually a wonderful, kind witch, who rescued the babies from the dreary forest, and gave them to loving families on the other side. The witch usually fed the babies starlight on the journey. But when she rescued the madwoman’s baby, she accidentally fed her moonlight, and infused her with magic. The witch decided to keep this magic baby, to live and learn with her dragon and swamp monster, Gherk, who were both also very kind. When the baby, aptly named Luna, turns 13, her magic will blossom (the witch had hidden it away, you see), and everyone above heads towards an explosive, action-filled confrontation. Also – there is a bad witch, too! Read to find out!
This novel is as magical as the magic that threatens to burst from Luna. There is no way to escape its touch as you dream through the pages. It has everything a good story needs – a mystery that is not figured out by the reader until the very end; several unlikely heroes, as well as an unconventional family; so much love mixed with so much pain and sorrow; and magic so unbelievable, it becomes as believable as the age of its painter.
The wings were removed from the goats. The eggs were untransformed from muffins. The tree house stopped floating.
Read this book. You know you want to.
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 . . .
The author of the highly acclaimed, award-winning novel The Witch’s Boy has written an epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to be a modern classic.