An epic middle-grade fantasy, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill is an amazing adventure with intricate – but not over-complicated – world-building, an intriguing system of magic, and a hilarious and endearing cast of characters.
Thirteen-year-old Luna is about to come of age – and into her own powerful magic powers, just as the village known as The Protectorate prepares to battle the woman who raised her as her own. The Girl Who Drank the Moon deals with some heavy topics such as tragedy, loss, corruption, and greed while presenting them wrapped up in the warm quilt of a fairy tale.
I loved this book, even from when I first spied its cover across the room at my local library with its fantastic lettering. It made for very interesting reading as an adult, more pressing conflicts took on a new level of fear, the aspects of motherhood and coming of age resonating in a very different way now that I am between those milestones.
This is also a very interesting book because it is one of the few fantasies I’ve stumbled upon that has a woman of color as a protagonist instead of some mere sidekick or supporting role. Luna is capable, clever, and resourceful, just as much as any Harry Potter or Alanna the Lioness.
I highly recommend this book to parents of children age 9+. It is a wonderful story of family, community, forgiveness, and magic, and would a fantastic bedtime reading story.