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The Moorchild

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  6,220 Ratings  ·  347 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 stran ...more
Paperback, 241 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1996)
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Vaelkyrja No love story. Potential for romance, and friendship. But not love story.
Age? I would say this is solidly "Middle Grade" fiction. So: ages 11-13.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Swankivy
Dec 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 o
...more
Cassandra
“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
...more
Gail Levine
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The main character is difficult to identify with and yet I did, couldn't help myself. A surprising, engrossing read.
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.
Stephanie
Dec 15, 2010 rated it liked it
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 bor
...more
Tobias
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
When I chose this book at Borders, I felt a calling that told this book MUST BE READ. Very rarely does this calling come, especially without the reviews I've recieved from past readers. In this case, the story of a young changeling's life was just the sort of story I'd adore. And I did. Saaski is the human child exchanged for a half human-half fairy, who was exiled after nearly placing her world into danger. As Saaski grows up, she is taunted and shunned by the people of the village; only her pa ...more
Josiah
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 1952 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 you ...more
Ibelin
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: very-much-yes
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.
Valerie
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 physic
...more
M Strawberry 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 t
...more
Nati
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 baby
...more
Katrina Zartman
Jan 15, 2014 rated it liked it
$0.99 wasn’t too much to spend to see what is winning awards in children’s literature, though.

I enjoyed learning about The Folk (fairies, pixies, however you would like to categorize them). I wouldn’t 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 doesn’t punish the main character for her fau
...more
Alice
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 t'o ...more
Sunshine
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Amy Berti
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Ryan
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
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.

It’s 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.
Nilsson
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
They were lucky to get out of the fairy mound alive. Usually fairies are more merciless than that.

Tam seems like a generous soul, always listening to Saaski's problems like that, never saying a word about his own. I'm sure he must've had more problems himself being a gypsy orphan, it makes me curious.
Nenče
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children

THE MOORCHILD is a story slow to unfold - but it's steeped in such vivid folk culture and setting, it's a joy to read. The gossip of the village, the danger of the moor, and the sweep of the hills are still vivid in my memory. Saaski is an endearing heroine as she searches for her place in the world... a lovely find.
Georgia Butler
Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.

Shean Pao
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely one of my all time favorite books. The creation of brogue that McGraw has done in the dialogue of this book was simply enchanting. The world building was enchanting - as were the characters. It was engrossing and magical to read.
Julie
Jun 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this a lot. The fact that I heard it on audio may have added to my enjoyment and glossed over any sins. But I thought it was terrific.

[http://julieberry.blogspot.com/2007/0...]
Coryl Reef
Still one of the best stories I have ever, ever read. An incredible tale of belonging, friendship, and familial love. Home is not a place--it is a feeling, and The Moorchild emphasises that beautifully.
puppy
One of my very favourites growing up. Still wonderful 15 years later.
Molly
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Still one of my most favorite books from my childhood. Relevant at every stage of life. For anyone who has ever felt alone. I can't wait to share this with my own children.
Miss Lovely
I finished reading this book today. I have many many books from my childhood. From 8th grade through the end of high school, I was so busy with school readings (readings assigned to read for school) that I never had time to read for pleasure anymore. Therefore, I have a whole library of children's books that I need to start donating. Now that you have some background ... I think this book would be interesting for a 3rd grader - 8th grader. After that, the reading material is too simple, and it r ...more
Jackie
Newbery Honor: 1997

Moql, half human and half Folk, was thrust out of the caverns underneath the Moor. She could not wink out, could not change, and let humans see her. So, the Folk did what the Folk do...they swapped her for a human child who would be their slave.

Moql, in the human world, never quite belonged, but her Mumma and Da loved her fiercely anyway, believing she was their human child. Yet, as she grew, strange occurrences became frightening for the townspeople and they blamed it on thi
...more
Crystal MacNamee
The Moorchild
By Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Traditional Fantasy and Newberry
(John Newbery Medal, 1997) and the (Golden Kite Award for fiction, 1997)
Published in 1996

The Moorchild is the tragic story of a child who is part human and part magic and has been rejected by both societies because she is not enough of one thing or the other. She faces many challenges throughout the story as she lives her every day life constantly falling short of everyone's expectations. Her true love is the bagpipes that have
...more
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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 book ...more
More about Eloise Jarvis McGraw...

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“I'll change to a dragon, then you'll be sorry.” 25 likes
“Aye, you're neither one thing nor yet quite t'other. Pity, but there 'tis.” 19 likes
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