As many people are aware, 2017 was on the whole, a bit nuts. My personal and professional life decided to follow suit, and while I may appreciate the travel miles and hotel points that racked up, I’m looking forward to a more stable (personally) 2018. I started at new job with the new along with the new year, and while I’m searching for housing in a new area, I’ve been staying with family during the work week. Wednesday night, I sat down to read aloud with one of the youths, and picked up The Girl Who Drank The Moon. The moon was still pretty full, and it was fun to think the same magic described in the story was shining down on us. I got through one and a half chapters before the kiddo was passed out, dead asleep, and then I promptly stayed up until one in the morning reading and finished the book in one sitting. Oops. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d powered through a book (or had the time) and it inspired me to kickstart the year with more regular reading – I really missed books. So onto my first Cannonball in a really long while, and onto the review.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon is written by Kelly Barnhill, and the winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal, along with a whole slew of other awards and nominations. The story follows a young girl who is abandoned as a baby in the woods outside of her town as a sacrifice to a local witch in order to protect the town and its people. The girl is instead rescued and raised by the witch, and along the way becomes “enmagicked” by drinking moonlight. Several twists reveal the true nature of the town’s sacrifice and the identity of the real evil witch. A full chorus of tiny dragons, swamp monsters, witches and magical birds supports the full fairytale experience.
The book is recommended for grades 4-6, although I have no idea what that really means and generally find reading suggestions by age to be banana oil. Let your kids (and yourself!) read whatever they’re capable of reading, and then sit down and have conversation about that afterwards. That being said, my youngest relative is seven years old, and there are definitely parts in the book where I think it might be appropriate to talk through regarding feelings of sorrow and loss, the story handles those feelings in a way that I found really approachable for a younger child.
While not my normal reading fare, it was definitely an enjoyable read, and I truly look forward to finishing it with the little one. I’d recommend it to any kid who loves fantasy, or one you might want to get interested in the genre.