Every year, people in a particular village leave a baby in the woods as an offering for the local witch so that she won’t terrorize them. The villagers don’t seem to know that the witch in the woods is kind, and every year, she saves the babies and finds them new homes. The witch, named Xan, rescues the newest baby and accidentally feeds her too much moonlight, giving the girl magical powers. Babies with magical powers are dangerous things, as their power can be wild and unpredictable. Xan cannot give a baby with such wild magic to someone else to raise, so she keeps her and names her Luna. Luna grows up in the witch’s household. There, she makes friends with the swamp monster Glerk and the tiny dragon Fyrian. To protect Luna and those around her, Xan casts a spell that locks Luna’s magic deep inside her, kept there until she is 13 years old. Xan’s spell does not go as planned, however, and the result is dangerous to Xan. As Xan weakens, she begins to lose the strength to protect Luna, Glerk and Fyrian from a young man from the village who is out to kill the witch. Can Luna overcome the witch’s spell so that she might use her magic to protect them all? And if the witch is not terrorizing the village, who or what is the real source of evil? This is a coming-of-age story, but it is also a story of what makes a family and the power of friendship. As with all good fairy tales, this tale is a mix of bright elements mixed with dark. Winner of the Newbery Medal for 2017, The Girl Who Drank the Moon is highly recommended.

Annette G.