The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Kelly Barnhill

The Grand Elder takes the youngest child every year on the Day of Sacrifice to the witch; this child is the village’s sacrifice. It has been done for years but this year things are different. As the child is being summoned the mother refuses to give up her baby, guards must be called in to take the child from her mother and the mother is placed in the tower for surely she has gone mad. Antain, the Grand Elder’s nephew, an Elder in training, is questioning the procedures and his questions are not making the Grand Elder happy. No one questions what the Elders do; it is what must be done. Antain has big ideas and the only reason he is in the position he is, is because he a relative.  The Elders have never really seen the witch and what really happens to the children once they leave them by the forest, is not theirs to think about, they only go about the procedures that have been passed down to them but Antain wants answers. Antain wants to see the witch.   I loved the magical aspect of this story, the whole novel felt enhanced with magic and I was enchanted as I learned about the village and what actually occurred in the forest. Something magical happens to the babies when the Elders leave them for the witch each year. The village has created their own stories of what the witch does with these young children and when I read the novel, I was surprised at what lied beneath the trees. The forest was alive and yet the village could not see it. I think this would make a wonderful bedtime story or read-aloud. It truly is a remarkable story.