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The Girl Who Drank the Moon Paperback – 24 August 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 13,633 ratings

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Product description


A fairytale with a difference, this is about finding your power and what is means to belong, captured in a richly textured prose in a beautifully realised fantasy world. ― The Bookseller

Impossible to put down . . . The Girl Who Drank the Moon is as exciting and layered as classics like Peter Pan or The Wizard of Oz ― The New York Times

A gorgeously written fantasy about a girl who becomes "enmagicked" after the witch who saves her from death feeds her moonlight. ― People

[Barnhill's] next middle grade sensation...With compelling, beautiful prose, Kelly Barnhill spins the enchanting tale of a kindly witch who accidentally gives a normal baby magic powers, then decides to raise her as her own. ― EW.com

Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick . . . Replete with traditional motifs, this nontraditional fairy tale boasts sinister and endearing characters, magical elements, strong storytelling, and unleashed forces. ― Kirkus

Rich with multiple plotlines that culminate in a suspenseful climax, characters of inspiring integrity, a world with elements of both whimsy and treachery, and prose that melds into poetry. A sure bet for anyone who enjoys a truly fantastic story. ― Booklist

An expertly woven and enchanting offering. ― School Library Journal

Barnhill crafts another captivating fantasy, this time in the vein of Into the Woods . . . Barnhill delivers an escalating plot filled with foreshadowing, well-developed characters, and a fully realized setting, all highlighting her lyrical storytelling. ― Publishers Weekly

Barnhill writes with gentle elegance, conveying a deeply emotional and heartrending tale with accessible, fluid prose. Characters are skillfully developed: the heroes are flawed, the villains are humanized, and they are forgiven for sins they may or may have not intended. The swamp monster and dragon provide plenty of moments of humor to leaven the pathos, while the setting is infused with fairy tale elements, both magical and menacing, and given a tragic history. Fans of Barnhill's The Witch's Boy and Iron Hearted Violet will find similar intersections of love, loss, and identity here. ― Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

The Girl Who Drank the Moon takes a probing look at social complexity and the high cost of secrets and lies, weaving multiple perspectives, past and present, into one cleverly unfolding fairy tale. Barnhill crafts wonderfully imperfect characters with poetic prose, warmth and wit. The resiliency of the heroes may be partly because of magic, but also because of critical thinking, empathy, deep love and the strength of family in all its unconventional manifestations. Thoughtful and utterly spellbinding. ― Shelf Awareness for Readers

Heart-stopping and heart-rending . . . Good and evil square off in this highly original fantasy that satisfies in time-honored ways . . . Poetic turns of phrase, intriguing subplots and fast pacing yield a rich mix of suspense, surprise and social commentary, splendidly exploring 'memory, hope, love, and the weight of human emotion.'...Magic, witches, moonlight, starlight, a baby dragon and baby sacrifice swirl together in this spell-binding high fantasy. ― San Francisco Chronicle

If your kids have already read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and they can't get enough of Neil Gaiman, they're going to love Kelly Barnhill's new fantasy, The Girl Who Drank the Moon. ― St Paul Pioneer Press

The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a story of love, curiosity and the magic of the everyday world . . . this is a novel about the journey, not the destination -- one filled with wisdom and heart. ― Minneapolis Star Tribune

Magic, witch-lore, an evil Council of Elders, a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, twists and turns and an utterly fantastical world--this book keeps you hooked! -- Kim Childress ― Girls' Life

An involving--and often wondrously strange--adventure. Though aimed at middle grade readers, this has plenty of marvels and tongue-in-cheek moments to keep older readers entertained as well. ― Locus

Infused with unique forms of magic. Philosophy and plots intertwine, woven together with bejeweled language and themes of love, secrets, power, belonging and family. ― Charlotte Observer

A fresh take on fantasy. ― Iowa City Press-Citizen

This story of a girl who gains magical powers after a witch saves her life by 'feeding her moonlight' has drawn comparisons to The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan. ― New York Post

There's much to love about this fast-paced story. The characters are charming, good and evil battle it out in scenes that keep the pages turning as the story builds to its climax, and the real witches come out of the woodwork. There are plenty of surprises as the author wends her way to a conclusion, leaving not a single stone unturned. Children, and adults too, will be "enmagicked" by this addictive tale. ― The Washington Missourian

A delightful read, especially for upper elementary and middle schoolers who love traditional fantasy. ― Providence Journal

Refreshing, magical, oftentimes comical, and full of adventure and heart, The Girl Who Drank the Moon soars off the pages. Readers will be fascinated in a spell that will sing to them and wrap them up in a finely woven tapestry of fantasy and magic. Few storytellers have the gift of so deftly arranging a fantasy or building a world so magical that readers want to live there, but Kelly Barnhill is the best at her craft. If you loved The Witch's Boy, you will love The Girl Who Drank the Moon even more . . . An instant classic, a book that today's children will read someday to their children. Highly, highly recommended. I would recommend this book over all others this year. It is honestly the best book I've read in years. ― El Paso Times

Kelly Barnhill is an artist, weaving a tightly-developed world from prose that reads like poetry. The Girl Who Drank the Moon is high fantasy at its finest and belongs on the same shelf with legendary tales like The Once and Future King, The Hobbit, Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising Sequence, and Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain. ― Nerdy Book Club

The Girl Who Drank the Moon is pure magic . . . Barnhill weaves together poetic prose--along with a few actual poems--well-developed characters, a perfectly escalating plot, and a beautiful message to create the extraordinary tapestry of this nontraditional fairy tale that will engage readers of any age. ― Barnes and Noble Kids Blog

This entrancing novel is full of beautiful detail with a very well-crafted plot line and exquisitely developed characters. Light and dark magic combine to weave a complex, twisting vine of a tale. ― Skipping Stones

From pure hearted characters to beautifully detailed backdrops, everything about this story is truly mystical . . . The Girl Who Drank the Moon is an unforgettable story that is so beautifully written it must have taken magic to write it. ― Young Mensan BookParade

It is the strong element of emotional entanglement between parents and children that sets this book apart from the bursting shelves of middle grade fantasy. Barnhill does an excellent job of reminding us that, while sorrow can be a dangerous and overwhelming force, love is an even greater magic. ― Cleaver Magazine

Just lovely--a worthy precursor to authors like Gaiman and LeGuin. Barnhill has a knack for telling a complex story in deceptively simple, lyrical fairy tale language, and the way she teases the individual threads of this story together--the brave boy, the magical girl, the witch's forgotten history, the mad mother--is brilliant. The characters--minor and major--live and breathe; the world of the story feels sturdy enough to stand on its own . . . go ahead and add The Girl Who Drank the Moon to your reading list. ― Home-school-life Magazine

This fantasy book about the unexpected power of magic, love and sorrow is told with beautiful prose and some humor . . . ― Free Lance-Star

Get lost in the magic of a middle grade read with The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Beautifully written and poetic, this is a tale that defines magic and love in a whole new light . . . Kelly Barnhill has a magical way of bringing a story and moral to light, while delicately dealing with deep issues. Perfectly suited for young readers, this book is also entertaining for an older reading audience." ― Independent Voice

A page turner for all ages. A rich cast of characters that includes a highly intelligent swamp monster, a tiny dragon, and a child imbued with powerful magic form the heart of this enchanting middle grade novel from Barnhill, who weaves an engrossing plot involving family, truth, and sacrifice. ― Tullahoma News

The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a marvelous children's story about fear, secrets, and the power of love . . . a wonderful book that older children and teens should enjoy reading. ― Portland Book review

Sure to delight readers of other fairy tale-style stories like Neil Gaiman's Stardust with its deliberate mixture of allusions, satire, and playfulness. ― Midwest Book Review

This novel is as magical as the magic that threatens to burst from Luna. There is no way to escape its touch as you dream through the pages. It has everything a good story needs - a mystery that is not figured out by the reader until the very end; several unlikely heroes, as well as an unconventional family; so much love mixed with so much pain and sorrow; and magic so unbelievable, it becomes as believable as the age of its painter. Read this book. ― Geeks Of Doom

A fantasy set around Luna, a girl whose magic begins to emerge on her thirteenth birthday, set in a rich fantasy world. ― Asheville Citizen-Times

A misunderstood witch, a poetry-spouting swamp monster, a tiny dragon with a simply enormous heart, a girl fed from moonlight and a town filled with tragic sadness all come together in this brilliant new novel from the author of Witch's Boy. Fans of Maile Meloy, Alice Hoffman and Shannon Hale will devour this sad, funny, charming, clever stand-alone fantasy adventure. ― Pinestraw Magazine

A spellbinding book that will keep you at the edge of your seat . . . Not only does the story show compassion and hope, it shows unconditional love . . . Look for this book to become a classic . . . ― Young Voices of New York

A modern fable about a witch named Xan, who accidentally gives a baby moonlight instead of starlight, and the child, Luna, who grows up to be magical and dangerous. Factor in a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, a swamp monster, a not-so dormant volcano, and a mysterious woman with a tiger's heart and, well, you've got something truly magical. ― NW Book Lovers

Barnhill's impeccable writing makes for effortless reading, while she spins her plot with perfect pacing. Packed within the story are some tremendously thought-provoking themes which elevate this quite beyond an ordinary fantasy and make it a superb choice for a middle-grade-and-older book club. ― Orange Marmalade Books

· 'This beautifully written, darkly funny coming-of-age story will enchant and entertain. And there's a teeny, tiny dragon, too...' ― Daily Mail

This is a beautifully written fairytale with delicate weirdness woven into it at every available opportunity, and a sophisticated exploration of propaganda and control. It feels both timeless and fresh, like the best poetry. One for young readers to drink up ― Irish Times

A poignant, humorous fantasy with glints of Margaret Mahy, Neil Gaiman and Robin McKinley. This is a gorgeously stratified and satisfying novel, full of archetypal, bone-deep fairytale resonances ― The Guardian

An endearing and magical tale ― The Bookbag

Barnhill's lyrical, compulsive storytelling will engage and challenge KS2+ readers ― Armadillo Magazine

This is a truly beautiful and magical fairy tale that deserves to become a classic in the future ― Books for Keeps

[a] thoughtful and magical book about belonging, fear and family... The writing flows beautifully and Barnhill's keen observation of human nature fits naturally into the story, which moves along at a satisfying pace... Perfect for young fans of Neil Gaiman, Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones ― Booktrust

An engaging and thoughtful feminist fairytale for modern readers. Barnhill's writing is whimsical and eccentric, with a depth and poignancy often not often found in children's books. A fantastic read ― Children's Books Ireland

About the Author

Kelly Barnhill lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children. She is the author of four novels, most recently The Girl Who Drank the Moon, winner of the Newbery Medal. The Witch's Boy received four starred reviews and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Awards.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Piccadilly Press (24 August 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1848126476
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1848126473
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 9 - 12 years
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 303 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.9 x 2.64 x 19.8 cm
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ United Kingdom
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 13,633 ratings

About the author

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Kelly Barnhill is an author, teacher and mom. She wrote THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON, THE WITCH'S BOY, IRON HEARTED VIOLET, THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF JACK and many, many short stories. She won the World Fantasy Award for her novella, THE UNLICENSED MAGICIAN, a Parents Choice Gold Award for IRON HEARTED VIOLET, the Charlotte Huck Honor for THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON, and has been a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the Andre Norton award and the PEN/USA literary prize. She was also a McKnight Artist's Fellowship recipient in Children's Literature. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her three brilliant children, architect husband, and emotionally-unstable dog. She is a fast runner, a good hiker, and a terrible gardener. You can visit and chat at her blog: www.kellybarnhill.com

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
13,633 global ratings
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 9 August 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! An enchanting middle grade fantasy!
By Anshula @thebookishlawyer on 9 August 2020
◾ ▫ ◾

Hello my book witches!

To forget about reality for a while, I bring you The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. This is a light middle-grade fantasy with witches, magic, tiny dragons and swamp monsters. I absolutely leafed through the pages like a hungry reader thirsting for more. It's a simple and enchanting fairytale that kept me quietly chuckling to myself, while I was lost under waves of various emotions.

A small Protectorate town sits nestled near a volcanic peak, encircled by dense dark forests. The townsfolk believes a Witch lives in the forest who'll harm them all, if a baby isn't sacrificed each year. So they leave the youngest child of the Protectorate, in the forest, as an offering to the Witch. But the witch, Xan, doesn't understand why these people abandoned one of their own in the forest each year. So she took care of them, travelled far to place them in the arms of another loving family who wanted them. But one time, the kind witch fed a child moonlight, instead of starlight. And the child grew up enmagicked, as her granddaughter, Luna. I loved the tiny dragon Fyrian, and the swamp monster Glerk who lived with Xan and Luna. Luna being an enmagicked child, couldn't understand her powers and Xan had to lock away the magic inside of Luna by binding it to her own. Luna's magic will return when she turns thirteen. This also meant Xan will die when Luna's magic comes back.

There's multiple point of views in the narration and that added to the story immensely, making it very compelling for a fantasy read. And the writing was so flowing and almost poetic that I couldn't help but fall in love with this book.

- Anshula
@thebookishlawyer (Instagram id)
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Reviewed in India on 6 August 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Go for it...
By Akshaykumar on 6 August 2020
I Received the book in good condition and the story is awesome..I definitely recommend this book to all who loves a good whimsy story...
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32 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 12 January 2019
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24 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 5 April 2021
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Reviewed in India on 12 August 2018
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Reviewed in India on 25 October 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you love middle grade books then i would highly recommend.
By sindhu on 25 October 2020
The book came in great condition.

The plot was gripping and this book maintained the perfect spooky vibe with a whimsical touch till the last page.

The full blurb on the back of the book or goodreads tells you half of what happens in the book, but never in a single page i felt like this book was dragging. It managed to stay warm and cosy and touched some dark topics like sorrow, grief and mental health which was brilliant.
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Reviewed in India on 29 June 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
By G.P S. on 29 June 2020
Beautiful book it's for real magic lovers it's about moon if you really are a moon lover this is definitely your type it has magic also it's just like ok Harry Potter like he never knew he has a horcrux this girl also has some mysteries
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4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 23 December 2017
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H. O'Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 May 2019
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18 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 July 2020
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2 people found this helpful
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J. Barber
5.0 out of 5 stars I fell in love with this story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 December 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved everything about this magical book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 December 2020
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Mike Watson
3.0 out of 5 stars A strange one...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 May 2019
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