Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Girl Who Drank the Moon gets 4.5 Stars {newbery medal, middle grade fiction, fantasy}

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill is the Newbery Medal Winner aka best book for kids.  5th grade to 8th grade.  Gets 4.5/5 stars in my book review.  Beautiful coming of age story with Luna, a young girl, who has amgin she got from Mother Natura.  Well done, but a little slow at times. juvenile lit, middle grade fiction, magic, fantasy, fairy tales, sorrow, love is powerful, love multiplies Alohamora Open a Book  http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill won the 2017 Newbery Medal.  That pretty much means this book is the best, most influential book, for kids.  

This coming of age story with a strong female lead character, a cute dragon and swamp monster, and a loving adopted mother is well written and an all around beautifully complex story.  I loved how it all wound together and shared some really fantastic messages.  

Love is powerful; love is stronger than sorrow and pain. Love guides and comforts even if "Death is always sudden." (page 80).

"Luna's heart was pulled to her grandmother's heart. Was love a compass.

Luna's mind was pulled to her grandmother's mind. Was knowledge a magnet."

What do you think?  Is love a compass? Is knowledge a magnet?    

This medal winning book gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.  It's a great story, but I do think it was a little slow at times.  I wish there would've been a little more character development especially for Luna; I wish the coming of age was more powerful.  However, that would've come with if there was more character development.  All in all, I thought the fairy tale/fantasy story was unique, taught great lessons, and a fun story with a lot of depth.

Personally, I agree with the recommended age for the book.  The Girl Who Drank the Moon is best for 10 year olds and up.  It is a completely clean story, but there is some definite dark overtones that I think younger readers would struggle with.  However, this book may have written about death better than any other juvenile book I've ever read.  It describes it well enough you know what is happening, but doesn't scare the reader.  It's fantastic. 

Amazon has the following book review from School Library Journal.  It should give you a great outline of the story. 

"Once a year in the Protectorate there is a Day of Sacrifice. The youngest baby is taken by the Elders and left in the forest to die, thus appeasing the witch who threatens to destroy the village if not obeyed. Unbeknownst to the people, Xan, the witch of the forest, is kind and compassionate. When she discovers the first baby left as a sacrifice, she has no idea why it has been abandoned. She rescues the infants, feeds each one starlight, and delivers the shining infants to parents in the Outside Cities who love and care for them. On one occasion, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight along with starlight, filling her with glowing magic. Xan is smitten with the beautiful baby girl, who has a crescent moon birthmark on her forehead, and chooses to raise her as her own child. Twists and turns emerge as the identity of the true evil witch becomes apparent. The swiftly paced, highly imaginative plot draws a myriad of threads together to form a web of characters, magic, and integrated lives. Spiritual overtones encompass much of the storytelling with love as the glue that holds it all together. VERDICT An expertly woven and enchanting offering for readers who love classic fairy tales." 

Have you read this Newbery winner?  Any other favorites?

Happy Magical Newbery Winning Middle Grade Fiction Reading! 

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Best For: 10 to 14 year olds, 5th grade through 8th grade
Worth a Check Out: Yes!
Buy It or Not: It's beautifully written, but a little slow at times.  I say no, unless you LOVE it after checking it out.
Read Aloud: Could be a great classroom read aloud for 5th and up.  Such great messages to discuss.
Lesson Ideas: The power of love, and that love can multiply. coming of age, fairy tales.


  1. I'm in the middle of it, and I agree that some parts are slow (I think that is why I haven't finished yet). But I will definitely get to finishing it now.

    1. Yes! It also took me WAY longer to read it than it should have. Though, it's worth it to fight the slow. I'd love to know your thoughts when you finish.