Being a moth keeper means having the fate of the whole Night village on your shoulders. Knowing this, Anya takes the oath anyway and sets about training to become the next moth keeper. She is responsible with guiding the moths out of their home, made from a covered tree stump, but getting them back in by sunrise. The moths then pollinate the most important tree in the village, which will also induce a multitude of other desert plants to grow and sprout flowers. One night, Anya decides she isn’t satisfied with just knowing what life is like in the Night village. She visits the villages of creatures who thrive in daylight. Her exhaustion the next night leads to the moths flying away from her sight, and it's up to her and the power of other moon creatures to get the moths back before the tree withers from lack of pollination.
This is fairly powerful stuff for a middle grade novel. O’Neill touches upon themes of acceptance and depression, as well as self-worth and belonging. Anya struggles with many of these things a and hopes her position will bring some purpose to her life, but in the end, friends and family help her find her sense of purpose. Also of importance is the need to contribute to the greater good, which Anya does find eventually, but with this, O'Neill reminds readers to find a place for themselves in their societies as well. With these illustrations, O'Neill takes a bit of a rougher approach to outlining, but the story's deeper themes need a little grittier touch. The coloring is just as beautiful as O’Neill's previous works, so fans of The Tea Dragon Society have another meaningful, gorgeous story to add to their shelves.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 5-9
Publisher: RH Graphic
Publication Date: March 7, 2023
ISBN: 9780593182260 (Hardcover)
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Graphic Fiction, Magic, Family, Mental Health, RH Graphic
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
Search this site
Ratings, Audience, and Subject Tags