Ariel Marie's Reviews > Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
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's review
Jul 30, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-about-asia, favorites-about-asia
Read from July 28 to 30, 2012

I became familiar with Grace Lin's writing from working at the National Air and Space Museum, which may seem a little odd. For one of the lessons, we use one of her picture books about kites. As much as I enjoy that little book, it was fairly simple compared to other reads used in the program. Therefore, I knew I would enjoy Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, but to be honest, Grace Lin has blown me away.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon follows a little girl Minli who wishes to change her parents fortune. The setting takes place a long time ago in China, but never quite says when. But that is unneeded as Minli travels through this mysterious world and meets new friends. Each person builds upon one lesson that she ends up learning together at the end. But everything is connected one way or another.

Folklore is intertwined into every step of Minli's life. She is basically living in her own folktale due to the fantasy elements of the novel as she learns about the world around her. Most of the stories revolve around Magistrate Tiger as he attempts to cheat fate. Yet this one act pulls all the lives of the characters together into one lesson that is revealed at the end.

Lin does a beautiful job at bringing all the stories together all while twisting them into other folktales. I started reading this novel with a smile and finished with one. It was a fun and exciting read. Minli is a great character for girls to look up to. She goes on a journey for the sake of her family instead of for herself or love. In addition, she is a clever child. I do wish Lin developed her characters a little more. If the novel was a little longer I'm sure Minli would become more fascinating with her adventures especially as she met her other friends like Dragon and the Buffalo Boy. Yet for the plot, the novel was the perfect length.

This is a great read for anybody who loves The Wizard of Oz or The Phantom Tollbooth. There were several moments where I thought of both novels while reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I would hope to see this one used in some school programs in either the near future or now. Even though the words were simple and the plot was exciting, I felt as if I brought a lot away from this book culture wise. There is a lot that folktales can tell you about a person's culture and what should be respected.

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Reading Progress

07/28/2012 page 31
07/29/2012 page 104
37.0% "I expected a lot out of this book and it still surprised me by being excellent. I love Grace Lin. And I envy her ability to weave real life and folklore together on one incredible Oz-esque adventure."
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