Book Reviews

Meet Judith Rodby, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of English from CSU, Chico. Judith leads our monthly book club and is a voracious reader who enjoys connecting with fellow book lovers. Judith led The National Reading Initiative for the National Writing Project and has facilitated book clubs for children, adolescents, and adults. Be sure to check back frequently to learn about her latest favorites, and browse the archive for even more!


The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

What a beautiful story!   A young girl, Luna, becomes “enmagicked” by accidently drinking the moon while under her adoptive grandmother’s care.  Luna’s family is comprised not only of this grandmother figure, but also of a pocket-sized dragon, and an ancient swamp monster, who is also a poet with a profound relationship to the Bog, the source of all life and nourishment. 

 This is a complex and detailed world full of magical boots, paper birds which “leap into the sky and soar over dreaming trees,” a mythical witch, a mad woman in a tower and so much more.  The novel is also a page-turner as Luna’s grandmother realizes the evil schemes in which she has been inadvertently involved

A “Sister of the Star” who lives on sorrow (as in eats it) almost gets the best of Luna and her hodge-podge family.  But in a moving, but not overly sentimental, ending, love wins out.

Scholastic books and Reading Rockets both recommend this novel for independent readers from 6-12 grade.  It’s a great book for readers who like fantasy, suspense, and strong female characters.