Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

4.6 253
by Grace Lin

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In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who

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In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Michael Jung
Best known as the award-winning author and illustrator of The Year of the Rat and The Year of the Dog, Grace Lin tries her hand at an original Chinese folktale in her new book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. All her life, young Minli has lived in the Valley of the Fruitless Mountain, a valley her storytelling father tells her is barren because the mountain above it is the broken heart of the Jade Dragon who longs to be reunited with her children. When her father tells her about the Old Man of the Moon and his ability to answer any question, however, Minli sets out to find the Old Man—using directions given to her by a talking goldfish—to learn how to improve her family's fortunes. As the goldfish's instructions take Minli through the City of Bright Moonlight, the Village of the Moon Rain, and the Never-Ending Mountain, Minli befriends many strange characters, including a trickster king, enlightened children, and a lost dragon, who all tell her stories that make her see the truth in her father's tales, but as Minli gets closer to the Old Man in the Moon, she realizes her experiences have changed her view of her family's fortunes, making her ask a question that will alter the future of the Valley of the Fruitless Mountain in unexpected ways. Drawing inspiration from not only Chinese folktales but also American fairy tales like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Grace Lin has crafted a highly accessible and compulsively readable folktale, further enhanced by her beautiful full-color illustrations. Readers who enjoy this tale will be delighted to find that Lin provides a list of books about Chinese folktales that inspired her own story at the end of her Author's Note, helping themexpand their knowledge of stories from other cultures. Reviewer: Michael Jung
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6–Living in the shadow of the Fruitless Mountain, Minli and her parents spend their days working in the rice fields, barely growing enough to feed themselves. Every night, Minli’s father tells her stories about the Jade Dragon that keeps the mountain bare, the greedy and mean Magistrate Tiger, and the Old Man of the Moon who holds everyone’s destiny. Determined to change her family’s fortune, Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon, urged on by a talking goldfish who gives her clues to complete her journey. Along the way she makes new friends including a flightless dragon and an orphan and proves her resourcefulness when she tricks a group of greedy monkeys and gets help from a king. Interwoven with Minli’s quest are tales told by her father and by those she meets on the way. While these tales are original to Lin, many characters, settings, and themes are taken from traditional Chinese folklore. The author’s writing is elegant, and her full-color illustrations are stunning. Minli’s determination to help her family, as well as the grief her parents feel at her absence, is compelling and thoroughly human.–Jennifer Rothschild, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, Oxon Hill, MD
Kirkus Reviews
To change her family's fortunes, a poor Chinese girl embarks on a fantastical quest to discover she already has everything she needs to be happy. Minli and her parents live in the shadow of Fruitless Mountain, where they toil endlessly. Bitter and resentful, Minli's mother complains when her husband fills Minli's imagination with enchanting tales of Never-Ending Mountain and the Old Man of the Moon. "Eager for adventure," Minli sets out alone seeking advice from the Old Man of the Moon. En route she befriends a dragon who joins her quest. Together they encounter a talking goldfish, a boy with a buffalo, a king, a fierce green tiger and laughing twins before scaling Never-Ending Mountain. Lin deftly incorporates elements from Chinese folk- and fairy tales to create stories within the main story and provide context for Minli's quest. With her "lively and impulsive spirit," Minli emerges a stalwart female role model who learns the importance of family, friendship and faith during her amazing journey. Richly hued illustrations reinforce the Chinese folk theme. (author's note) (Fantasy. 8-12)

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Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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