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Minnesota Book Award

West of the Moon

West of the Moon weaves original fiction with myth and folktale to tell the story of Astri, a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America.

After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America.

With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent “goatman” in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon.

Published by Amulet Books. Cover art by Lilli Carre.

Download the reader’s guide for West of the Moon >


Praise for West of The Moon

Like dun silk shot through with gold, Preus interweaves the mesmerizing tale of Astri’s treacherous and harrowing mid-nineteenth-century emigration to America with bewitching tales of magic. A fascinating author’s note only adds to the wonder.
— Booklist, starred review
Enthralling and unflinching, this historical tale resonates with mythical undertones that will linger with readers after the final page is turned.
— School Library Journal
Several Norwegian folktales are seamlessly integrated into the fast-paced, lyrically narrated story, which features a protagonist as stalwart and fearless as any fairy-tale hero.
— The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
Norwegian history, fiction and folklore intertwine seamlessly in this lively, fantastical adventure and moving coming-of-age story.
— Kirkus Starred Review
Astri is like a girl out of a fairy tale, and the native folktales that Preus weaves through the narrative serve as guides, lessons, and inspiration for her.
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
It’s Astri’s voice, however, that is most appealing: her direct, no-nonsense narration has a sharp bite, yet it also reveals the vulnerable young girl who’s willing to continue to fight but is nonetheless exhausted by the weight of her struggle. The chapters have an episodic structure that makes this an ideal choice for readaloud or storytelling adaptations, while the mix of folklore, fact, and fantasy will please fans of Edith Patou’s East.
— The Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books

Awards for West of the Moon

Minnesota Book Award

Society of Midland Authors Award for Children’s Fiction

Aesop Award for Children’s Literature

An ALA/ALSC Notable Book

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Listed as one of the Best Books of the year by Bank Street College, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus, BookPage, Hornbook


Watch now

Trailer for West of the Moon

Music: Hildring by Erik Wøllo and Northern Nights: Music From the Top of the World

Digital art and video by Joellyn Rock.

Casting, costumes and props by Ann Gumpper
with thanks to Laura Piotrowski and UMD Costume Shop.