I’m continuing a strong push with the Newbery Medal winners in my reading, and I recently read the most recent winner, 2017’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. And we have a serious contender for favorite Newbery–at least of the ones I’ve been reading for this challenge!
The story starts in a very sad village in the Bog, where every year on a certain day, the youngest baby is left in the forest for the Witch, so that she won’t destroy everyone else. We swiftly meet the Witch, Xan, 500 years old and quite unaware that anyone thinks she wants to harm them. She rescues the babies every year, taking them through the forest to happier towns where they are adopted and cherished. She feeds them starlight on the journey and they grow favored. But one year she is especially taken by a baby, and mistakenly feeds her moonlight instead. The baby grows full of magic, and Xan decides she must adopt Luna herself, adding her to a little family including Fyrian, a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, and Glerk, a grumpy, poetical bog monster.
This is a delightful story, full of fantasy, whimsy, humor and heart-tugging moments. I knew this was going to be good as soon as Glerk and Xan appear, Xan scolding him about apologizing to Fyrian. I love fantasy that takes the tropes (swamp monster, dragon, witch) and turns them upside down in a funny, human way. Continue reading “Book Review: The Girl Who Drank the Moon”