The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Workman Press.
In this New York Times bestselling epic fantasy, a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon must unlock the dangerous magic buried deep inside. The New York Times Book Review calls The Girl Who Drank the Moon “impossible to put down . . . as exciting and layered as classics like Peter Pan or TheWizard of Oz."

Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal
The New York Times Bestseller

An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016
A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016
An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016
Named to KirkusReviews’ Best Books of 2016
2017 Booklist Youth Editors’ Choice

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. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.

Baker & Taylor
"An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her"--

& Taylor

Luna, whose magical abilities are emerging, was raised in the forest by a witch, a swamp monster, and a dragon, but when a young man from the Protectorate is determined to kill the witch, Luna must use her magic to protect her family.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina :, Algonquin Young Readers,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781616205676
Characteristics: 388 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

This is not for children under 10! I started reading it to an elementary class and probably gave them nightmares.

Nov 12, 2017

A great read for preteens and teens. Has important lessons and messages set in a beautifully written novel. I love a book with a child main character, and if you like an adventure with kids, this is a must read!

historytimejen Oct 27, 2017

This is a fabulous read for strong elementary age readers who enjoy quests, magic and dragonlings. It's a mash up of the Hunger Games, the Hobbit and Harry Potter. It lends itself to a sequel - I hope there's more!

Jul 14, 2017

The Girl Who Drank the Moon is an amazing chapter book; a perfect story for kids! But the language and vocabulary is a bit complicated for younger kids (eg. 10 years and younger). It is such an breath taking book!

SCL_RiRay Jul 06, 2017

A worthy addition to The Newbery Award winners list.
It is a bit slow to start but, in the end, I couldn't help but love it.

Jun 26, 2017

Fairy tales told to a child subtly interwoven with the story behind the tales and a hint of myth. I liked the way Barnhill doesn't force a framework around magic and repeats elements in variation like a fugue. The story comes full circle in many ways. If you like this, you may also enjoy the film Kubo And The Two Strings. I did find the ending here was a little mushy though and most fairy tales don't tell you what happens in the weeks that follow. The target audience is likely 9-15 years old and, by only a slight margin, female. Strong female characters predominate but not artificially so.

Apr 30, 2017

The story line for this book is wonderful, as are so many of the story's elements -- but I fear the execution doesn't quite live up to it. GIRL has an identity crisis, as though it can't decide if it wants to be a charming children's chapter book (Fyrian, the name Glerk, Luna's unwitting use of magic) or a pretty dark YA book (the Sorrow Eater, the way Xan and Luna are bound together, the Protectorate, the whole leaving-a-baby-in-the-woods thing). I suppose in a way that might make it a good middle grade read, as it will have parts that comfort and parts that challenge for a reader, but I found myself wishing it would be one or the other.

kathleen_DCL Apr 28, 2017

A wonderful story that is perfect for kids ages 10 to 12 that love fantasy and fairy tales.

forbesrachel Apr 05, 2017

The Girl who Drank the Moon is a magical journey of growth, accepting responsibility, the importance of thinking critically, and love. Luna's tale begins with her "sacrifice". Every year in the Protectorate, the youngest child is to be left in the woods for an evil witch. Things are not what they seem though, for Xan is actually kind. She doesn't understand why anyone would abandon a baby, so she takes each one to the other side of the volcano-based forest, feeding them starlight along the way. To Luna though, she feeds the moon. The young girl becomes enmagicked, and a danger to herself and others. Xan seals her powers, and raises her, along with the poem-loving, origin-entity Glerk, and small, gleeful dragon Fyrian. Unbeknownst to them all, Luna is the hope of the next generation, offering the previous one a chance to mend. We gradually learn more about the past and current situation through a variety of voices. No one is entirely good or evil, they are human and therefore bad things happen to them, and they make mistakes, even when their intentions are good. This is notable because one of the story's main themes is sorrow, and even though sad events happen on a regular basis, they never affect the overarching feeling of fairytale happiness. Barnhill's fairytale world has qualities that make it feel distinct from others. Magic is fluid and natural, the place features a bog and a volcano, and characters don't fit any stereotypes. For those needing a feel good read, definitely try The Girl who Drank the Moon, it is full of heart.

CMLReads_Kristin Mar 28, 2017

I understand why this title won the Newbery Award. It is a bit slow to get started, so it's not a good pick for a reluctant reader, but it's a good choice for fantasy/fairy tale readers. It's the sort of book that has deeper meanings for adult readers.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Sep 17, 2017

blue_whale_503 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 14

Jul 14, 2017

StarryGlitznGlam thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 26, 2017

humbleworm thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Jun 17, 2017

lbnemi thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

violet_butterfly_5141 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add a Quote

JCLChrisK Dec 21, 2016

Not all knowledge comes from the mind. Your body, your heart, your intuition. Sometimes memories even have minds of their own.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top