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.


Beautiful, that’s what this book is. Absolutely beautiful. The Girl Who Drank the Moon is so much more than just a story about a magical baby or a witch in the woods or a village in fear. It’s about love and the consequences our decisions, even good ones, have.

Kelly Barnhill has a distinctive writing style that I appreciate. Lyrical might be one way to describe it. There were times I would stop after reading a passage and just hug the book to myself and let it sink in.

I love it when a book is not only interesting but also written beautifully to go deeper than the plot. There are lessons here, truths about the world and people. The Girl Who Drank the Moon won a Newbery Medal and it totally deserves it.

This is the first book of Barnhill’s I have read and I am very interested in reading her others. If The Girl Who Drank the Moon is an indication of what I can expect from her other works then I can’t wait to be delighted.

Book Review: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

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