Parents' Guide to

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Entrancing fantasy spun with magic stresses power of love.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 15 parent reviews

age 10+

Rich story with hopeful and dark themes

I really liked this book and so did my 10-11 year old fantasy reader. It has some pretty dark themes - a town run by controlling people who feed off other people's despair and are willing to keep the population miserable through deprivation and child sacrifice. But it also has the counterpoint of a do-gooding, self-sacrificing witch and "monsters" that act to counter balance the darker practices. I think the dark themes are more disturbing to me as an adult than they would have been to me as a child, where they would have read as basic fairy-tale evil. I like how the protagonist characters work to improve the community and fight the wrongs they see as they come to understand more. THere is no sex or swearing, some emotional and physical violence - a magical attack leaves a character physically scarred, a character goes insane at the loss of her child, a characters bullies and terrifies subordinates.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Fantasy Newbery Medal Book with Heavy and Violent Themes

This book is interesting and has a good flow but is based on the horrendous practice of infanticide where a yearly ritual is to leave a newborn baby in the forest to die or be killed in order to appease the witch and save the village. But wait...the witch does not kill the babies; she gives them to perfect-matching parents in a different village, while the original parents go mad. This theme really bothered me while reading the book, and colored my appreciation for anything good that happens in the story.

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (15):
Kids say (43):

This fantasy, a brisk-paced mix of magic and witches set in an enchanted land shadowed by a rumbling volcano, has high stakes and multiple threads that bind together in a spiritually resonant climax. Luna, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, is a young girl "enmagicked" by moonlight and raised by a loving witch she knows as Grandmama. There are multiple characters -- one unexpectedly evil -- in this seamless story, and the values are solidly peace-loving and open-hearted. Where other fantasies might culminate in an extended, blood-soaked battle, this one has a satisfyingly thoughtful resolution.

Author Kelly Barnhill is a crisp writer with a lyrical flourish. She sprinkles in sophisticated language, inviting readers to stretch their vocabularies with words such as "undulating" and "murmuration." Her similes are strikingly fresh -- roads unwind "like great spools of yarn" -- and her verb choices vivid -- "The Grand Elder steepled his fingers together." It's an original fairy tale with the feel of a classic.

Book Details

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