From the author of the critically acclaimed Under a Painted Sky, an unforgettable story of determination set against a backdrop of devastating tragedy. Perfect for fans of Code Name Verity.
Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Young Adult
Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty of Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.
On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. Now she’s forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?
Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival.
|Publisher:||Penguin Young Readers Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Stacey Lee is a fourth-generation Chinese American with roots in San Francisco Chinatown. She has lots of experience with earthquakes, having skinned her knees more times than she wants to remember diving under tables. She is the critically acclaimed author of the novels Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon, the winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. Stacey was also a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Born in Southern California, she graduated from UCLA and then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. She lives with her family outside San Francisco. You can visit Stacey at staceyhlee.com. Or follow her on Twitter @staceyleeauthor.
Read an Excerpt
In my fifteen years, I have stuck my arm in a vat of slithering eels, climbed all the major hills of San Francisco, and tiptoed over the graves of a hundred souls. Today, I will walk on air.
Excerpted from "Outrun the Moon"
Copyright © 2017 Stacey Lee.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mercy Wong is one of my all-time-favorite main characters. She's so smart and resourceful and I'd totally want her on my side during the zombie apocalypse. I really enjoyed OUTRUN THE MOON.
Another gorgeous historical fiction by Lee. Again, she really shines at her female relationships here. And the racism the book calls out is often heartbreaking, and completely necessary. Mercy is a pretty incredible young lady, and I am glad I got to spend some time with her.
4.5 stars What a fantastic read! I loved the character of Mercy, her determination, her voice and her empowerment. While faced with disorder, she finds hope and life and she empowers others to look beyond the present to make their future brighter. Being a minority, her outlook on life takes strength. This strength she finds from within her and I loved how she moves forward in life, taking one step at a time. The minute I met Mercy, I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. She didn’t want a traditional Chinese life; she wanted to make a life of her own. She was set on going to a girl’s school and her determination to get a scholarship had me laughing and hooting as she put people in their place. When she was accepted, unfortunately she had to leave her family for this was the cost she would have to pay for her education. Mercy was now at a place where she would get a proper education but in reality, she would learn more about life than she would at home. I loved the author’s writing as Mercy is drawn into a world unfamiliar to her. I felt like a part of Mercy and her travels as she tries to adjust to her strange environment. The girls and the staff are inquisitive about Mercy and her heritage. Mercy must lie and she is quite the talented liar, quick on her feet with a great imagination. Sharp and witty, she satisfies her audience and she leaves me hungry for more of her wit. She thinks she has the girls fooled by her wisdom but the headmistress has her eyes on Mercy. Mercy can’t stop thinking about Tom, she wonders if Tom carries the same feeling for her now that she has left him to go to school. Her determination to become someone stronger than a traditional Chinese woman has her thinking perhaps Tom would rather have a traditional girl than Mercy. Mercy can’t stop thinking about him and she feels she must do something to validate her feelings. Mercy gets a powerful push as the novel continues and the school comes under major distress. This was an incredible historical fiction novel and one that I highly recommend.
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee introduces Mercy Wong and her family living in Chinatown in 1906. Mercy wants to give her family a better life, so she studies and works her way into the St. Clare's Boarding School for girls. Mercy has impressive maturity and wisdom for her age, probably due to the racism that surrounds her and her undying pursuit of future goals. The San Francisco earthquake strikes and some petty differences dissolve while others grow. Mercy Wong upholds her strong values and beliefs while still being open to others. She is perfect:) This wonderful historical fiction story contains some clean romance and a happily ever after feel.
Please Note: I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the opinions of my review in any way. What does it take to give a book a five-star review? For some it's a compelling story, for others, memorable characters and settings are the reason. For me, a five-star book will get me so emotionally involved that it will get me crying at some point. So, yup: This book got a big old five! I must start out by telling you that I also have a "text to self connection" with this story. My great- grandmother was also a teen and lived through the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. I remember her telling us stories of how she sat with her family on a hill and watched as the city was destroyed by a huge fire. They lost everything (including her birth certificate). We never did know exactly how old she was. So when I saw the sign ups for this book, I had to jump in. The story tells the tale of Mercy Wong, a Chinese-American who lives in the Chinatown section of San Francisco. Wanting a better education, Mercy talks her way into an exclusive school for young women that she hopes will teach her business skills so she can become her own boss. What she gets instead are lessons in elocution and social graces. This was typical for women's schools of the time. She butts heads with her roommate and others who are prejudiced. But all of this is put aside as the ground begins to shake and the girls must work together to survive. I was very struck by the details of the earthquake, and it's aftermath. Apparently many people took refuge in Golden Gate Park (one of my favorite places!). But with no food or shelter, it must have been chaos. Was my own great-grandmother there? She must have thought the world was ending (I'm in tears as I write this). I think the book captures how frightening this time must have been. But (without giving anything away) even in the most dire of circumstances, people will rise to the occasion and perform acts of kindness. I loved how the book showed the hopeful aspect of this tragedy. The book also brought to life much of the injustice that people of Chinese descent endured during that time. It's one thing to read about this in a history book, but quite another to see how strongly this affected people. Laws were specifically targeted to make life difficult. After 1882, Chinese were barred from immigrating to the U.S.. That meant that there were very few Chinese women around. Since it would have been unthinkable to marry someone outside their race, this was a serious problem. There were also laws designed to just make life hard, such as the Sidewalk Ordinance that said one couldn't carry laundry on a pole. This book showed how this community was just trying to get by. Much of Chinatown was destroyed in the Great Fire. I loved this book. I think it should be read by anyone who wants to read about this time in our history. With a great story and wonderful characters, this is a must read.
In 1906 San Francisco, fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong and other Chinese families must live within the confines of Chinatown. But Mercy is determined to become a successful businesswoman and schemes her way into an exclusive school for white girls. Getting along with her classmates and headmistress is a challenge. When a great quake strikes the city, Mercy is not the only one to suffer losses. Her strong will serves her well as she take leadership. But will her grief be her undoing? Mesmerizing tale that transcends a “disaster story,” readers will be rooting for Mercy to find happiness in life and love.