The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Published by Algonquin Young Readers 

Summary:  Each year, the youngest child in the Protectorate must be sacrificed to the witch to keep the people safe.  One year, the mother goes mad when her daughter is taken away.  Antain is just a boy when he witnesses this, but he never forgets it, nor can he forget what it was like to walk away, leaving the baby girl in the forest to die.  Little does he know that she is rescued by Xan, the witch who has rescued all the babies.  Usually Xan takes the children to another city to be adopted, but she accidentally feeds this one moonlight, filling her with magic, and decides to name her Luna and raise her herself.  And so the story goes, for almost 13 years, following Antain, Xan, Luna, a monster named Glerk, a tiny dragon named Fyrian, the madwoman, and the evil Sister Ignatia, until they all meet one fateful day in the forest.  The magic in Luna finally comes to fruition, and allows the power of love to overcome the power of evil.  386 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Beautifully written and crafted, this is one of those books that weaves many different strands through the entire story until they all come together at the end.  Look for this as a Newbery consideration.

Cons:  While I admire and appreciate this book, the story never really grabbed me.  I had to assign myself nightly readings to get through it in a timely fashion.

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