Brandi's Reviews > Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
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's review
Mar 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: caudill-nominee-2012, 2011, juvenile, newbery-winner-nominee, random-reads-column
Read from March 09 to 11, 2011

The constant sigh produced by Minli’s mother is a result of the family’s unfortunate station in life. Living in the Valley of the Fruitless Mountain does not leave many opportunities to create a satisfactory and successful life. All her life, Minli has heard the wonderful stories from Chinese folklore from her father promoting hope and prosperity. One story that remains ingrained in her thoughts is the Never-Ending Mountain and the Old Man of the Moon. The Old Man of the Moon is said to grant requests if you can locate his mysterious home, although it is well hidden and no one has ever found it. One day Minli spends have of her money on a goldfish purchased from a traveling goldfish vendor, hoping the goldfish would bring her family good luck. Upon taking the goldfish home, it speaks to her and tells her that the Never-Ending Mountain really does exist. The only way it will tell her how to find the mystifying mountain is if Minli frees the goldfish so it can swim in the one river it has never been in before. Minli does what is asked of her and sets off on an adventure to locate the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing fortune to her parents. What she learns is that sometimes your greatest request will be answered without even asking along with the importance of putting others before yourself.
Minli embarks on a whimsical “Wizard of Oz”-like quest, meeting up with greedy monkeys, a boy and his water buffalo, a pair of happy-go-lucky twins, a vicious tiger, and a friendly, yet incomplete dragon whose only wish is to be able to fly. Throughout the tale, Lin sprinkles many stories from Chinese folklore. Accompanying the stories, Lin created beautiful illustrations which bring Minli’s story to life. The stories reveal background information about the main story and may encourage readers to diver deeper into Chinese mythology. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a 2010 Newbery Honor award winner. Lin’s interest in the history of Chinese folklore is inspiring and engaging. This spirited story spun from the legends of the past sparkles with hope, fantasy, and joy.
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