Reading back to back middle grade titles made a perfect fit for this mini review post. Check out my thoughts on The Dark Prophecy and The Girl Who Drank The Moon below!
The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 2, 2017
Genres: Middle Grade, Childrens, Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology
Pages: 432 Format: Hardcover Source: Library
Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers?
After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .
Is it possible to not enjoy a Rick Riordan book? The Dark Prophecy returns the reader to Apollo’s plight as the search for the second emperor begins. Making this book all the more wonderful was Leo Valdez and Calypso joining the journey. I’m also super thrilled we’re discovering more about Apollo’s past and pursuits. This second installment didn’t seem as cohesive as the first but there was plenty of humor to carry me along. Overall it wasn’t my favorite but still an incredibly enjoyable read.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on August 9, 2016
Genres: Childrens, Middle Grade, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic
Pages: 388 Format: Hardcover Source: Gift
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 and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver 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 enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.
Kelly Barnhill created a delightful magic-filled read with such heart and The Girl Who Drank the Moon charmed me completely. The family dynamics in this one were so on point and I just want to hang out with Xan, Glerk, Fyrian, and Luna forever. Plus there were hidden emotional depths that left me with tears in my eyes. It did take me a while to get into this one but then I just couldn’t put it down. A truly sweet tale all around!
So have you read either of these titles? Do you enjoy picking up middle grade? Any recommendations?
Let me know in the comments below!