You know a book is good when kids are pressing it into one another's hands, urging them to read it so they can discuss it. That's what happened when a neighbor friend recommended The Girl Who Drank the Moon. My ten-year-old couldn't stop talking about this mystical fantasy about people who leave their babies for an evil witch in the forest, hoping their sacrifice will keep them safe--but the witch is actually good and gives the babies to loving families. One night, she accidentally feeds a baby moonlight and gives her magical abilities, prompting her to raise the baby as her own.
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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 . . .