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The Moorchild

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  6,933 ratings  ·  422 reviews
Half moorfolk and half human, and unable to shape-shift or disappear at will, Moql threatens the safety of the Band. So the Folk banish her and send her to live among humans as a changeling. Named Saaski by the couple for whose real baby she was swapped, she grows up taunted and feared by the villagers for being different, and is comfortable only on the moor, playing ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Aladdin (first published April 1st 1996)
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Heidi Dages No love story here. As for age I'm 15 and loved it, so I think it really depends on the person reading it.…moreNo love story here. As for age I'm 15 and loved it, so I think it really depends on the person reading it. (less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  6,933 ratings  ·  422 reviews

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Gail Levine
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The main character is difficult to identify with and yet I did, couldn't help myself. A surprising, engrossing read.
Dec 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritebooks
This Newbery Award-winning book really captured my attention. It is about the half-fairy Moql, who doesn't know she's half human until she is unable to become invisible in front of a human, and he ends up almost catching her and endangering the other fairies, or Folk as they call themselves.

They have a strange way of handling emotions; they aren't affected the same as humans and don't have the same morality (or even the same way of living within time), so they have no qualms about casting her
Why, you'll be 'changed, m'dear. We'll just swap you for a human child who'll make a good servant to the Band. Half Humans never work out 'mongst the Folk. No, never do."
"But--I'm half Folk too... What if I never work out 'mongst the humans?"
"Aye, you're neither one thing nor yet quite t'other. Pity, but there 'tis.

This is one of those books I remember reading and loving (and re-reading, over and over, until the library's copy was nearly worn out) as a kid, but wasn't sure how it would hold up
Luisa Knight
Although I usually like McGraw's books, I didn't care for this one at all. I provide a breakdown in this short video of what wasn't working for me and suggest a different title to try out instead.

Ages: 9 - 12

#geograpy #europe #ireland #culture


Children's Bad Words
Mild Obscenities & Substitutions - 3 Incidents: stupid, blather
Name Calling - 16 Incidents: braggart, gorm, blunderhead, imp, lackbrain, ninnies, stupid murtherin clodpoles, flibberjib, noddikins
Scatological Terms - 2
Debbie Barr
Aug 31, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids 10 and up
I bought this on a whim, and hoped that I would like it, because I really hate buying books that end up being dissapointing. Thankfully, this book was well written and had a great plot, so no worries there. I liked the way people spoke in it (reminding me lovingly of the secret garden) and the story was just lovely.
J.Aleksandr Wootton
A capital fairytale (does anyone use "capital" like that anymore?), engaging, poignant, and just a little bit haunting. Almost too satisfying - I am content to know no more of the story than what is between this book's covers.
Josephine (biblioseph)
Read this a couple times when I was younger. It's great.
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
The first thing that stands out to me when I take a look at the career of author Eloise Jarvis McGraw is her outstanding record of successful longevity. She won a Newbery Honor in 1953 for the book Moccasin Trail and then another in 1997 for this book, The Moorchild, with a third honoree (The Golden Goblet) thrown in there for good measure in 1962. Being hailed as an excellent writer over that long a stretch of time is a remarkable accomplishment really matched among contemporary authors of ...more
This is one of those books I never knew existed until I just came across it randomly. The plot looked interesting, so I thought I might as well see what it was like. Essentially it's about a child who actually is a changeling left with humans by the moorfolk because she had a human father.

Usually understatement is a good thing, but I feel like this book was too understated. The premise was good, but there just wasn't a whole lot of drama or build-up. For a strange child, Saaski seemed almost
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Updated Review: 1/29/18
This book is exactly as good as I remembered it, which is wonderfully refreshing. It's always a shame when a book you read when you were younger doesn't hold up as you age, but this one did, thankfully. The part-mundane, part-mystical world the author created practically leaps off the pages and submerges you almost as entirely as the Folk's Mound does to Saaski and Tam, towards the end of the novel. I'm a sucker for fairies, and this wonderful fantasy novel both appeals
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
If you're well-versed with fairly folklore and the idea of changelings - where fae will switch a human baby with one of their own - you should enjoy this book. In the story, the fae are very much real, though usually not seen by humans, and this leads to some interesting situations.

What would happen if a mortal man fell in love with a fae/elf (in this story, called moorfolk) woman? This story deals with the consequences that happen to an offspring of such an union. At first, she is happy among
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
Bewitching and alluring! I couldn't put it down. Adds depth to the typical fairy tale.

Saaski is half-Folk and half-human. She is exchanged for a human child and forced to grow up among humans, but she never feels like she belongs anywhere, either with the Folk or with her human family. The villagers tease and ridicule her, calling her a witch, but Saaski finds an unexpected friendship with a goatherd boy on the moors.

One of the reasons I love this book so much is because I grew up also torn
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Glad this little fantasy tale came across my desk last week. I had never heard of it or the author before, and thankfully didn't read the back cover. The first sentence got my attention: "It was Old Bess, the Wise Woman of the village, who first suspected that the baby at her daughter's house was a changeling." And we're off.

Most tales like this for young readers veer off into grand epic battles of good vs. evil which require at least 5 books to tell, which is fine and all, but this one stays
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairy-tales
This book is so beautifully atmospheric in a really specific way that's hard to duplicate (or at least, I haven't found many).
Vlada G.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful story; so perfectly crafted! One of those masterpieces that start out okay, get gradually better and better, and then blow you away with their sublime ending. A few poignant scenes even made me tear up, which is the best praise I can give a book.
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A story for all the children who've felt like they don't belong. I loved the idea of changelings and the Folk. This is the type of book that makes you think.
Christian McKay
LOVE. Partial to the refreshing takes on motherhood.
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original and delightful twisting of tropes in this tale of the fair folk. I just am sad I didn't read it sooner!
I had this book many moons ago in my youth and then made the stupid blunder of getting rid of it. Fixed that.

When I reacquired it, I worried that re-reading it would be disillusioning. There is often such a gap between the impressions I got as a child and the way things seem to me now. I shouldn't have worried, though. The Moorchild is still just as bittersweet and haunting even though seven years have passed. I love this book.
I picked this up when I realized it was about a changeling, from the point of view of the changeling herself. It's understandable that the legend of the changeling would arise, when people found that their children were 'different', in societies that were often ruthlessly conformist.

I personally have one major difficulty in identifying with 'Saaski'. She's far too high-energy for me. It may be that one of her main problems is that she devotes too little energy to emotions, and too much to
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread one of my favorite books from 7th grade (the library still had a copy!). Such great world building - I vividly remember getting that feeling where I didn't want to start another book for a few weeks because I wasn't ready to leave this world. Now I'm thinking that was partially because (view spoiler) Also, the theme of not fitting in would've hit ...more
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What's interesting to me about this book is that you could say it has a mixture of cuteness and darkness.
My aunt bought me "The Moorchild" for my birthday when I was a kid, and I asked for a book about fairies. So there aren't really fairies in this novel, but rather other types of amusing, albeit dark, mythical creatures, which steal human babies from their parents, to replace them with their own. Oh and the ruckus... Such is the story of 11 year old Saaski, who has no recollection of her
Katrina Zartman
$0.99 wasnt too much to spend to see what is winning awards in childrens literature, though.

I enjoyed learning about The Folk (fairies, pixies, however you would like to categorize them). I wouldnt know if the information is historically accurate or just made up by this author. It was interesting to learn about bee hives and about the medicinal use of herbs. I also gained a better understanding of how a set of bagpipes works.

Moral tone? The author doesnt punish the main character for her faults.
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-awards
An enthralling fairytale peppered with dynamic characters and engaging scenes of whimsy and reality braided to together to create a classic and enduring story for children of all ages. The author's attention to detail and apparent research/knowledge regarding her subject matter, it's location, and life on a moor leaves readers feeling as if they have walked side-by-side with the changeling Saaski as she gathers firewood, attends to farm animals and fends off the persecution of other children as ...more
Evin Krowe
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-read
I found this randomly in my Jr. High Library. At first I only liked it for its fantasy setting and good story telling. Now I seem to relate more and more to the main character Saaski. I have lived in Japan for a number of years and I understand what it's like living between two worlds. This book got me through some hard times in Japan. Whenever Japanese people reminded me that I am indeed not one of them I just imagine them as the fey king saying, "Aye, you're neither one thing nor yet quite ...more
Amy Berti
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed reading this one with my daughters! Loved the old (and sometimes made up) language and names of the villagers that made me imagine the culture of these people. The story is both exciting, and entertaining. Yet the heroic nature of the girl is inspiring despite her being an outcast of the people.

I read it to my girls, then read ahead after they fell asleep, then read the rest to them so I could experience it again. A great story teller entertains all ages. The Moorchild is a great
Beth A.
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Beth A. by: My mom
Shelves: middle-grade
I really enjoyed this one. I loved the main character, Saaski, and felt for her as she struggled to find her place. It was interesting, held my attention, and I loved the ending.

Its a great example of how you can not fit in or be accepted by those around you, and still be a worthwhile person and find (and give) happiness. I loved her quest to find a gift her mother wanted, and that she was willing to trade something she really treasured for it.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brittany, Katherine
Shelves: nbbp
I loved this book when I first read it years ago, and it didn't disappoint this time. I've read others by this author, and Moorchild is far superior in writing and story (even her other Newberry books). The story is of Saaski, the halfbreed child of fairy and human, belonging to neither and having to find her place in the world. The ending does not disappoint either - no real resolution, just a glimpse of Saaski's future which won't be perfect or easy. Lovely.
Georgia Butler
Just re-read The Moorchild and am so glad I did. Funny how books affect you differently when read at different times. Though I enjoyed The Moorchild when reading it years ago, this time I gained a deeper appreciation of both the story and the author's prose. Now I plan on reading all books written by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. And I can't wait to get started.

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Eloise Jarvis McGraw was an author of children's books. She was awarded the Newbery Honor three times in three different decades, for her novels Moccasin Trail (1952), The Golden Goblet (1962), and The Moorchild (1997). A Really Weird Summer (1977) won an Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America. McGraw had a very strong interest in history, and among the many ...more

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