Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 5 - 9Grade 5n/a4.8n/a
Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal
The New York Times Bestseller

An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016
A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016
An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016
Named to KirkusReviews’ Best Books of 2016
2017 Booklist Youth Editors’ Choice


Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge--with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published on June 18, 2019 by Algonquin Young Readers
ISBN-10: 1616207469
ISBN-13: 9781616207465
52 Book Reviews
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  • meisdancer
    meisdancerThursday, May 21, 2020 at 10:14 am55 stars
    Luna is a magical girl who when she is a baby Xan accidentally feeds her some of the moon instead of the stars. So when Luna grows up to a kid she becomes mischievous and sometimes can hurt herself but Xan (who everyone on the other side of the bog thinks is evil is actually nice) is there to help most of the time. I love this book so,so,so much!
    • Madylin priorWednesday, May 20, 2020 at 6:08 pm
      I have not read it but it sounds good
      • the_wolf
        the_wolfSunday, May 17, 2020 at 5:40 pm55 stars
        This book seems interesting... I'll add it to my ebook collection right away!
        • raindrop07
          raindrop07Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 5:23 pm55 stars
          The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill is about a town that each year gives the youngest baby to the "witch" in the woods. They think that if they do not, the witch will curse them and send them into forever darkness and exile. This book is about the life of Luna, one of the children brought into the woods and her life with the Zan, the kind old woman known in the tale as the mean, old witch. This story tells of Luna's journey as a magical child and her adventures through the days as she finds the true meaning of being filled with moon magic. “Not all knowledge comes from the mind. Your body, your heart, your intuition. Sometimes memories even have minds of their own.” ― Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon
          • Shygirl Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 6:02 am
            I wish I could do that
            • ShygirlSunday, May 17, 2020 at 1:54 am
              I am so speechless... It was just so amazing
              • applemango
                applemangoSaturday, May 16, 2020 at 10:13 pm55 stars
                In the town of Protectorate every year they leave a baby as a “offering” to the witch for peace. However, the actual witch is a very kind one name Xan. One day when she goes to pick the baby up she finds herself falling in love with her. She names the baby Luna but accidentally feeds her moonlight instead of starlight which makes Luna magical. Xan is taking care of Luna but soon Xan realizes that taking care of a baby was a harder thing to do than she realized, and even harder when the baby is magical. Meanwhile in Protectorate there is a boy prepared to be a elder, leader of the town, but he has too much questions so the elders decide they will have to “do away with him”. But the oldest elder has a heart for this boy...Now because of fake stories about the “witch” or Xan, the kind boy plans on killing Xan for supposedly “stealing” babies when she is only protecting them from sorrow. The boy resigns from the elder council and marries a new wife named Ethyne. They now have the youngest baby which they will have to sacrifice. So the boy designs a plan to kill the witch before. Meanwhile Luna’s magic evolves making her having sudden outbursts of magic. Since her memories were hidden away she does not know what magic means but, thinks only that she remembers something about the word. She feels the need to protect Xan so she followers her dear Grandmama on a journey without her knowing and her two friends Gerth and Fydrian on her heels in search of her. Her “mad” mother is also searching for her lost, sacrificed daughter, Luna. She know the real witch and is out about to stop her from feeding on people’s sorrow. An epic story where paths cross defining truth from lie.
                • starkk_22
                  starkk_22Friday, October 4, 2019 at 8:17 am55 stars
                  This book is a great fairytale. It has witches, wizards, and even dragons! I highly recommend this to anyone who immediately fall in love with fairytales.
                  • bookfan2008
                    bookfan2008Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm
                    What is this book about? it seems pretty intresting to me. do you reccomend it?
                    • aquamaria
                      aquamariaMonday, March 23, 2020 at 6:05 pm55 stars
                      It's a about a witch named Xan who raises a child who she accidentally feed starlight to as Xan calls her Luna. I really recommend this book, there are so many emotions in this book. 📖😀
                      • bookfan2008
                        bookfan2008Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 6:10 pm
                        Thanks! I'll read it!
                    • UNICORNS??OMG!!Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 7:30 am
                      I'm scrolling through the comments and I cannot wait to read this book!!! Thanks for giving me a head start on what this book is about, guys!