The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Algonquin Young Readers
Ms. Hen decided to read this because she likes to read books for young people sometimes, and this one is about a good witch, which Ms. Hen was interested in. She craves fantasy more and more because the world is sad right now, and she does not want to dwell in reality. This book is a good antidote to reality.
This novel is about a village called the Protectorate which is located near a bog, and it makes its living off the bog. The town is full of sadness, and everyone knows that a horrible witch lives in the woods nearby. Every year, near the beginning of the year, they have to offer the child born closest to that time to the witch as an offering. The people believe that she sacrifices the baby.
In reality, Xan is a good witch. She takes the babies because she believes they are left there to die. One time, she takes a baby, and instead of offering her up to the starlight for nourishment as she is taking the baby away, she offers her up to the moon, and the baby becomes enmagicked. Xan decides not to take the baby to the free cities like she usually does, but instead, she takes her home with her and raises her, so she can keep track of her magic. She names the girl Luna. Luna lives with Xan, and the Perfectly Tiny Dragon, and the Swamp Monster in the woods. She does not know she has magic in her for a long time. But she discovers it, and she won't look at the world in the same way.
Ms. Hen read the second half of this book very fast. She got into the story, and she could not put it down. And since it is a children't book, it was easy to breeze through. Ms. Hen was scared, but she had a feeling everything would turn out okay in the end. She can usually tell by the tone of the book how the ending will be.
Ms. Hen was enchanted by this novel. It reminded her of a lot of other books she has read, such as the Harry Potter series, and THE WIZARD OF OZ. It's beautifully written, and she couldn't put it down. There's something about books for young people or children that Ms. Hen loves; she thinks it's because children have a different way of looking at the world, and are open to things that adults aren't. Adults do not have the ability or the desire to "play pretend," and Ms. Hen thinks this is too bad.
Some chickens appear in this novel, which made Ms. Hen happy. The madwoman finds the tree house where Luna lived with Xan, and she finds the goats and chickens, "The chickens clucked in their enclosure, pressing their backs to the willow walls, keeping them inside. They gave their wings a desperate flap." The chickens were afraid of the madwoman, but she wasn't the one they should have been afraid of. The Sorrow Eater would come to the tree house soon, and she is the one they should fear.
Ms. Hen doesn't enjoy being around children, but she likes children's books. She doesn't remember liking being a child, either, so it's strange. She likes diving into fantasy worlds and being somewhere completely otherworldly for a little while, and thinking like a child, one with imagination and hope.