Title: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Author: Grace Lin
Series: not a series, but companion book is Starry River of the Sky
Recommended for: fifth grade and up
Pages: 278 pages
Call Number/Link: J LIN
Newbery Honor Award
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.
This is definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read, and makes my lifetime top ten list.
The author blended a number of Chinese folk and fairy tales together to create an exciting adventure story. The main character Minli loved listening to her father tell her a story every night. Knowing the stories helped her on her quest to find and speak to the Old Man of the Moon. She made various friends along the way, including a dragon, a buffalo boy and fun-loving twins A-Fu and Da-Fu.
The book is not an obvious “easy sell”, but it is sooooooo good. I recommend it to all of you! (And then ask that one of you figure out how to “sell it” to the kids.)
While the author drew her source material from folk and fairy tales, I think this book would still be appropriate for fantasy or adventure reading assignments. It would also be good for an integrated unit study of China (history, customs, religion, literature) or for readers who like dragons and/or fearless female protagonists.