The Moorchild

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The Moorchild
The Moorchild.jpg
Author Eloise McGraw
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date
Pages 241
ISBN 978-0-689-80654-4

The Moorchild is a 1996 children's novel by Eloise McGraw that centers on the life of a changeling girl. The novel draws heavily on Irish and European folklore about changelings, leprechauns, and fairies.


Moql/Saaski: the protagonist, half-elfin, half-human. Raised as a young elfish creature, one of the "moorfolk", she is exchanged against her will with a human child. She is described as "eldritch" and "freaky-odd" by the people of the village. She is not interested in the other children of the village, whom she describes as dull and primitive. Saaski has a different appearance from other villagers; she has brownish skin and pale, wild hair, and slanted, color-changing eyes.

Anwara: Saaski's adopted mother, a harassed young woman living in a small village by the moor. She often displays a kindly attitude towards Saaski, but is disheartened as the story progresses.

Yanno: the village blacksmith and Saaski's adoptive father. A huge man with the smell of iron about him, he is bemused by his daughter's oddities. He shows a gentle streak towards her and defends her from the villagers.

Tam: a lonely orphan goatherd on the moor who befriends Saaski and escapes with her to lands unknown.

Old Bess: Anwara's mother, a mysterious old woman living in a hut on the outskirts of town. She is in tune with the ethereal world of which Saaski was a part. She suspects Saaski's true identity from the start.

Awards and nominations[edit]

The book was awarded the Newbery Honor in 1997.[1]