Review of: The Destiny of Minou Moonshine by Gita Ralleigh


The middle grade debut story by Gita Ralleigh “The Destiny of Minou Moonshine” is a captivating children’s novel that takes the reader into an exotic landscape of an alternate version of colonial India, called “Indica”.
The 13 year old protagonist, Minou Moonshine, known as “sparrow” by her friends is an orphan and lives on a dilapidated houseboat with her adopted Grandmother. They live in Moonlally, a city divided into Withetowners and Blacktowners that has been controlled by a tyrant General for 13 years, whose restrictive rules require them to obey without question and include who they should worship.
After a terrible tragedy, Minou’s life is unexpectedly shattered.
Minou joins the rebel force called The Green Orchid and fights for freedom in the intent to restore the power of the goddess called the “Dark Lady”. With a map, a secret and a mechanical elephant, she takes us on a breathtaking adventure involving airships, mechanical elephants and ferocious crocodiles. 

Throughout the book, the reader is captivated by Minou’s independence and strength during her quest of discovery of who she is and where she came from, and the colorful and detailed descriptions of the scenes.

This epic adventure is a rich tapestry where fantasy, friendship and faith are beautifully interwoven. 'A land that loses its stories loses its way' is one of the most quoted lines of the book and perfectly reflects how the stories Minou grew up with and the story we witness as readers are inseparable.

 “The Destiny of Minou Moonshine” is a fascinating read for 9 to 12 year old readers whose most dominant language is English*, but also for older readers who like action stories with covert double agents, spying, and rebellion, or as Gita Ralleigh says in an interview: “a person who likes adventure, magic and steampunk would love my book”.



*Because of the varied and detailed vocabulary used in this book, tailored to skilled readers, learners of English of this year group might find it a challenging read. 






I recommend watching this lovely video interview with the author:

Find the Song of the Dark Lady, read by the author:


Visit the website of Gita Ralleigh:


Follow the author on IG:



Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2024 (1/25/25) is in its 11th year! Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen founded this non-profit children’s literacy initiative; they are two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural diverse books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.

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