The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Every year, the evil Protectorate offers a baby to the evil witch in the forest to ensure their village’s safety. Yet, unknown to them, the witch is Xan, the plump and knowledgeable protector of the babies that she takes to the neighbouring village to be raised as special children, fed on starlight and destined to do wonderful things.
Yet, one day, Xan feeds one baby the moon by mistake and fills her with a huge amount of magic – a dangerous amount, as it turns out – so Xan decides to raise Luna as her own. But nothing is straightforward, and when Luna turns 13, everything will change.
Kelly Barnhill won the Newbery Medal in the US for this thoughtful and magical book about belonging, fear and family, and it’s easy to see why. The writing flows beautifully and Barnhill’s keen observation of human nature fits naturally into the story, which moves along at a satisfying pace.
Xan is a delightfully pleasant and caring crone witch who dispels the traditional image of cackling evildoer, and replaces it with something far more loving and magical. Perfect for young fans of Neil Gaiman, Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones.