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Starry River of the Sky
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Starry River of the Sky

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  3,341 ratings  ·  438 reviews
The moon is missing from the remote Village of Clear Sky, but only a young boy named Rendi seems to notice! Rendi has run away from home and is now working as a chore boy at the village inn. He can't help but notice the village's peculiar inhabitants and their problems-where has the innkeeper's son gone? Why are Master Chao and Widow Yan always arguing? What is the crying ...more
Published October 2nd 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
12th out of 117 books — 1,152 voters
Wonder by R.J. PalacioLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenCode Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinStarry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
SLJ Battle of the Books 2013
5th out of 18 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ms. Yingling
This is one of those books that makes me feel like an AWFUL librarian. All the cool kids like it, but I found it personally painful to read. I don't know why-- I usually adore books with an Asian theme even though they are a hard sell at my school. Most commenters say this is lyrical and beautifully written, which is true, but my students never ask for lyrical books. My problem, what made me take my glasses off and scrub my face in frustration, was that not much happened, and the minute it did, ...more
Barb Middleton
Taiwanese workers have been fixing the leaking hot water pipes in our apartment. Custom is to not wear shoes inside apartments, but I cringe thinking they will slice open their foot on the shards of bricks, concrete and tiles scattered on the floor. I point to the tennis shoes I'm walking around in and say, "Okay... shoes." Then I give the thumbs up. They laugh and I noticed over the course of a week them eventually wearing shoes inside the apartment. While I like this custom of removing shoes, ...more
I remember when Grace Lin first started writing chapter books for kids. She'd been doing picture books (mostly for others) for years and when at last she started creating small semi-fictionalized memoirs based on her own experiences she ended up tapping into a kind of 21st century need for books with a realistic "classic" (forgive the phrase) feel. The sideways shift into fully illustrated full-color folktale-based fiction felt simultaneously like a throwback to a long-forgotten era (particularl ...more
Katherine Cowley
A modern retelling of traditional Chinese stories, this book is set in the same story world as Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. It’s not a sequel (it’s set several hundred years before the other story), but it’s not exactly a prequel either, though a few characters figure prominently in both books.

The things I love about this book and the first are the same: Chinese mythology retold, that it's a story about storytelling, that young people make choices that make a big difference in their world.
Review by Karen, intended for young readers:

I have a very important tip for you: the next time you have a cross-country flight and you’re looking for the perfect book to keep you entertained — make you chuckle, make your eyes well up with tears, make the time pass ridiculously quickly — choose Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin.

Of course, it’s always a risk to pack just one book for a long plane ride because what if you hate it from the first chapter and you’re stuck reading the Skymall magazi
After seeing and thoroughly enjoying a theatrical production of Grace Lin's "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon," I was intrigued when my 9 year old daughter found "Starry River of the Sky" at the public library. She had such a high stack of other books to read first, so I decided to treat myself to this one, and I'm glad I did. "Starry River of the Sky" is a beautifully written coming of age story about family feuds, leaving home, homesickness, longing, and what one needs to learn in order to he ...more
I have been eagerly awaiting this new title from Grace Lin, half-fearful that I'd be disappointed because of my high expectations for it and half-gleeful because I assumed it would transport me to a time and place far from today and allow me to forget my own cares and woes. My fears were foundless since the author does not fail to delight. I was transported to the remote village of Clear Sky where Rendi has ended up working as a chore boy for a local innkeeper. I was enchanted by Madame Chang an ...more
The Styling Librarian
Feel so honored to read this book. Looking forward to sharing it with students and friends for years to come. Perfect stand-alone story with rich folktale mixture intertwined with the most beautiful story with rich character development. Cannot wait to read it again when it is officially published with all the illustrations richly in color as the treasure of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!
I absolutely loved Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and this book did not disappoint. I do feel it moved a little slower as it took place in one location, rather than on a journey. However, each character and story told within was just as unique and riveting as it's companion.
This was a fantastic book filled with legends and proverbs that include the secret to peace and the difference between misery and joy. The character growth and mysterious nature of things really draw the reader in; my son and I were very involved in the story throughout. It was a lot of fun to formulate theories while reading this book. I would recommend to readers of any age looking for a magical journey. The spoilers below are character notes for our OBOB team.

(view spoiler)
Michaela George
A young boy named Rendi runs away from home and ventures into another village nearby, but many peculiar things are happening in this village. He realizes that the moon is missing but is the only one that seems to notice. Also he listens to a wailing every night without knowing what it is. When an old lady comes into town and starts telling stories he soon realizes all of the stories relate to him and his past. He then realizes that many of these stories are just the answers he is looking for.Whi ...more
Melody Wolen
Reading Level: 5th grade
This book is about a young boy who travels by merchant carts and ends up in a family-owned inn where he gets the job of cleaning up after guests. The moon is missing in this town and he seems to be the only one noticing, for he hears the strange noises at night that keep him up. Throughout the story he meets many characters, all who tell him Chinese fables from their ancestors and why things are the way they are, such as the sun in the sky. He mostly converses with the fa
Jacquelyn Hoogendyk
Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin is about a boy, Rendi, who runs away from home in a wealthy part of the country and finds a strange comfort about the inn he ends up working for. He is worried about the moon being gone from the sky, and through the stories about the village's ancestors is able to solve the mystery of the moon being absent from the sky. The book was strong in that it featured great insight into ancient Chinese stories and myths. Within the main storyline are stories told by t ...more
Rendi has run away from home – gone as far as he can to be away from his father, Magistrate Tiger as he possibly can. His father, hoping to become an important man, bullies everyone around him with his arrogant and dishonest challenges. His tricks and plans seem to get him what he wants, but Rendi cannot bear to be part of the deceit. Although it means leaving his mother and sister behind, Rendi’s anger at being used and discarded gets the best of him and he set off. His journey brings him to th ...more
There are some authors that the minute I know they have a new book coming out, I immediately pre-order it. Grace Lin is one of those authors. Not just because I love her gorgeous illustrations (I love those bright colors she always uses), which I do, but also because her stories always draw me in and make me want to be a part of her characters lives. So, when I heard about this book, I knew I would love it and I did.

Rendi is an interesting character from page one. While he is not particularly li
Book talk: What would you do if the moon went missing and you were the only one who could hear its cries? Rendi is surprised that no one else seems to mind the missing moon or hear its moans at night--but what can he possibly do about it? Maybe once he could have got someone to help, but now he's on his own. After being caught as a stowaway he's stuck working as a chore boy at a small inn in the middle of nowhere. He doesn't want the inn's guests to think he's crazy and the inn keeper's daughter ...more
The moon is missing and the sky is crying every night. In Starry River of the Sky Grace Lin weaves the fantastical with the everyday.

My favorite part of Starry River of the Sky was all the stories the characters told to one another. It made me think about the power of story and how humans love stories. We love to tell stories and hear stories. Stories teach us about other people in other lands, and they teach us about ourselves. It's fitting that my sister, who is a storyteller, gave this book
Rendi runs away from home after a bitter dispute with his father, ultimately being taken in by an innkeeper as a chore boy. As Rendi gets to know the innkeeper and his daughter and exchanges stories with the inn's mysterious guests, he is troubled by haunting moans in the night that only he seems able to hear. To make matters more perplexing, the moon seems to have disappeared from the heavens--and no one in the Village of Clear Sky appears to care. The innkeeper is far too consumed by his own p ...more
I love Lin's writing. I love the beautiful stories woven together and the themes that feature in her work. My children loved noticing the connections between Starry River of the Sky and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. We listened to this on CD, and the reader does a great job. Lessons to remember: the way to peace is forgiveness. You can choose to be fierce like a tiger or calm and matter who your parent is or what your background.

A few great quotes: "If a listener truly understands
Absolutely loved this book! What a gorgeous story full of meaning and reflection. Grace Lin does a beautiful job allowing the reader to make connections and think throughout the story. Would highly recommend this book to my fourth and fifth grade kiddos.
I had a hard time getting into the story. Unfortunately, the characters and story didn't really draw me in and not much happened. I felt that the author was trying to add mystery, but did not execute it the way that I would have liked. I thought that story was too predictable. The author clearly used the folk tales as a metaphor for the characters. I always begin my rating of any book at a three and I rely on the author to guide that rating up or down as the story progresses. The most interestin ...more
Sue Cowing
Grace Lin has done it again, but even better. In this companion book to her prize-winning WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON, she follows the same scheme of weaving traditional tales into a larger original story. This time the characters and their dilemmas are even more convincing and compelling. I turned the pages quickly to find out what would happen, then went back at leisure to enjoy the illustrations , which are, in a word, gorgeous. Some are literal illustrations of the story, but the ones ...more
Beautifully done. So well crafted, it makes you kids actually like this kind of book? All kidding aside, I was a little reluctant to read, but really enjoyed it a few chapters in.
This book was just as legendary as Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Storyline: Rendi ends up at a remote Village where the Moon is missing from the sky and he listens to wailing every night. Mysterious appearances arrive and the story unfolds as Rendi learns that he is part of the answer to all of his questions about life. The mixture of Chinese folklore blended with the plot was fantastic. The included guide to finding out more about the folktales used is a fantastic resource.

Red flags: None

Nice little companion book to "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon."
For me this story couldn't really hold my attention because it was all a little far fetched and hard to follow. I did thoroughly enjoy the few photos that were included in the story as they helped to picture the things I was a little confused on. As for the story itself, it is about a young boy named, Rendi, who runs away from home due to his anger he has towards his father. Unexpectedly he ends up in a small village called Village of the Clear Sky. He then ends up working for a man who oddly en ...more
Kayla Strand
At first, I did not understand where this book was going and the point of the story. But as the book went on and stories started to be told and fall together, it all became clear. This story is about a boy named Rendi who runs away from home and ends up as a chore boy at an inn where he meets some very interesting people he never thought that he would get along with. The pictures in the book also helped with understanding the concept, and the bright colors made the characters come to life. The w ...more
Ian Wood
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Shelby Zimmerman
It starts off with Rendi, a young boy, hiding behind gangs in a cart. He gets caught by an innkeeper and is put to work. At first, he is very displeased that he is a chore boy. He slowly learned from the innkeeper’s daughter, Peiyi. One day, a mysterious guest arrives and pays for a whole month in advance. With curiosity brewing, Rendi and Peiyi meet the new woman staying at the inn. She tells stories and begins to encourage Rendi to tell stories, too. Rendi begins to tell stories and starts to ...more
Kayla Davis
This book tells the story of a young boy named Rendi, who is quiet and bitter and seeking to escape his past and his father. The book incorporates a lot of Chinese folklore/fables and I enjoyed how they came together to connect the pieces of the story and explain the different characters and their pasts. This book should definitely be read with its counterpart - Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. The illustrations are amazing and I loved how they so fittingly illustrated Chinese culture and the ...more
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Starry River of the Sky 1 12 Feb 27, 2013 10:25AM  
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