The Moth Keeper by K. O’Neill

Published by Random House Graphic

Summary:  Long ago, a community formed in the desert to live their lives at night and keep the Moon Spirit company.  In return, the Spirit gave them a special tree that made their lives easier.  The tree had to be pollinated once a year by Moon-Moths.  Now Anya has become an apprentice Moth Keeper, going out every night into the desert, sometimes with her guardian Yeolen and sometimes alone.  Anya had a tough childhood, seen in flashbacks, and she sometimes fears the dark and longs to spend her days in the daylight.  But when she causes a near-catastrophe with the moths, she realizes the importance of her community and her role in it.  Helped by them, she’s able to correct her mistake and finds new beauty and connection in her nightly work.  272 pages; grades 4-8.

Pros:  The gorgeous illustrations make this fantasy tale one that readers will want to revisit over and over again.  K. O’Neill has created a magical world filled with mystery, beauty, and a tight-knit, loving community.

Cons:  Be sure to spend plenty of time on the wordless pages of the book to fully understand the story. I found myself confused more than once.

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