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The Girl Who Drank the Moon

by Kelly Barnhill

Published by Algonquin, 2016
388 pages
ISBN: 978-1-61620-567-6


On the annual Day of Sacrifice, the Elders of the Protectorate leave the youngest baby in the village as an offering to the witch in the woods. And once a year a 500-year-old witch named Xan waits to rescue a baby that is mysteriously abandoned, taking it to a good home far away. One year Xan mistakenly lets a baby drink moonlight. The girl is enmagicked, and Xan keeps the child. Xan’s companions, Gleck, a friendly, philosophical bog monster, and Fyrian, a sweet, tiny dragon who thinks he’s enormous, complete young Luna’s family. For safety, Xan encapsulates Luna’s magic with a spell that holds until Luna turns 13. Meanwhile, Antain, growing up in the Protectorate, once witnessed a baby being taken from the mother for sacrifice. The woman went mad with grief and was locked in the Tower of the Sisters of the Star. After Antain marries a young woman who boldly left the mysterious sisterhood, they have a baby, the youngest in the village as the Day of Sacrifice approaches. Determined to hunt the witch down before that day arrives, Antain sets off, just as Xan’s power is weakening, the woman in the tower escapes, and Luna comes of age. A story propelled by wonderful characters, deft plotting, and depths of human emotion leaves no doubt about love being stronger than sadness, grief, and fear. (Ages 9–13)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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