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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  35,602 ratings  ·  4,548 reviews
In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli spends her days working hard in the fields and her nights listening to her father spin fantastic tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon. Minli's mother, tired of their poor life, chides him for filling her head with nonsense. But Minli believes these enchanting stories and embarks on an extraord ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 278 pages
Published June 2009 by Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  35,602 ratings  ·  4,548 reviews

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Jan 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
When an author wants to write their first fantasy novel for children, they'll sometimes fall back on the books they themselves loved as kids. If they were Alice in Wonderland fans they might go the route of Neil Gaiman's Coraline. If they were partial to The Wizard of Oz they could do as Salman Rushdie did when he wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories. As Grace Lin explains in her Author's Note to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, some of the books she read at eleven were dozens upon dozens of Ch ...more
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My five stars might be misleading. I don't think I would have enjoyed this half as much reading it to myself as I did reading it aloud slowly over many nights with an utterly enchanted seven-year-old hanging on every word. It's a magical quest story woven of Chinese folk tales and the author's own imagination, with bits of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz thrown in as well. There are a few passages that are near quotations, apparently an homage to Baum's classic which I'm guessing was a favorite of Li ...more
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This... this is one of the most beautiful middle grade books I have ever read.

Minli lives in the Valley of the Fruitless Mountain with her very poor parents. Her father tells her stories about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon, filling her head with ideas of how they could possibly change their family fortune. One day, Minli discovers the way to the Old Man of the Moon and decides to leave her parents to see if she can find him. On the way, she meets a dragon that can't fly, kings, tig
I loved this book. I love learning about myths from the Asian culture. I love how the blurb related this to the Wizard of Oz, and I can see that relationship. MeiLi is on a quest, a journey. Like Dorothy, she realizes she doesn't need anything from an outside source. She has the power within.

This is such a lovely tone. The culture is celebrated and the importance of family is here and I love how nature plays into the story so intricately. I enjoy the people she meets along the way and the story
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
2010: I am completely floored by this book. It is perfect on so many levels: at the beginning I was reading it with my three-year-old son in mind (he has a crush on the picture of Grace Lin on the back flap), and the text seemed simple enough for him to understand and enjoy the book. But by the end, I was reading for me, having forgotten all about my son, and I was thinking that every mother should read this book. When I buy it (this was a library copy), my son will have to fight me for it.

I lov
The Shayne-Train
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was beautifully written. I found it as much a delight to read as my little one did to have it read to her.

Minli is a young girl that lives in a poor village in rural China. Under the gloomy shadow of a barren mountain, she and her family toil and drudge to just barely scrape by. She watches as her mother grows more and more discontent with their lot in life, until finally Minli decides to ask the Old Man of the Moon how their fortune can be improved.

What follows is a touching, intellig
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read via Overdrive app from the "Try something different" section. :)

Narrator *Janet Song*;: 3.5 stars, pleasant voice and good job narrating the story but her voices for different characters sometimes didn't sound all that different.

A beautiful and heartwarming (with a couple teary moments) tale. Simply but elegantly written, the characters feel like old friends fairly quickly and worm their way into your heart.

I don't know what else to say except I enjoyed this one very much. It is written
Luisa Knight
I highly recommend this one! Delightful story and great morals, so a nice one to grab for your next family read-aloud!

Watch my video where I explain why this one is a good choice!

#geography #asia #china #culture

Ages: 7 - 12


Children's Bad Words
Name Calling - 5 Incidents: dogs, fool, puffed-up frogs, stupid
Religious Profanities - 1 Incident: thank goodness

Religious & Supernatural: See Conversation Topics.

Romance Related - 3 Incidents: A boy comes across a girl bathing in the water. He p
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, read-with-kids
We loved this book! Beyond the strength of the characters (Minli in striking out on her own to change her family's fortune, Ba in waiting and loving and hoping, and Ma in learning to seek forgiveness), there was a beauty to the writing that made reading it aloud a joy.
Leona  Petrovic
May 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I wanted to like this, truly. Mythology is something I find immensely fascinating and I'm curious to learn more about Asian culture and stories and customs. Unfortunately, the book was not for me. I found it predictable and was annoyed by the frequently used exclamation marks. I do think young children would like this but I'm far too salty and mean at this point ;)
Kyungnan Gam
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book made me interesting at first by the cover. It looked mysterious and fantasy. I really like mystery books and fantasy books so this is why I was more attracted to the book. While reading, it was also very interesting about who the King of the Fruit Mountain. I really liked how the author made the format of the book for the readers. You can guess whoever the King of the Fruit Mountain is. I am looking forward to this author's other books too.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The voice of the narrations were done by Minli, and I think the narrations were executed perfectly for her age in the story. I anticipate that this novel would be to difficult for young readers because of the vocabulary. I suggest "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" for readers fourth grade and older! It's a wonderful story with a great message that wealth and fortune don't give one prosperity and happiness and that the key to happiness is thankfulness. When reading "Where the Mountain Meets the ...more
Mimi 'Pans' Herondale
This was really good 👍
It might be unfair that I rank all children's books to The Tale of Despereaux. I loved the adventures of the tailless mouse with his needle/sword braving the dark rat infested underground. Similar to it's YA older brother Redwall, Despereaux will forever be the 'high bar' I compare other children's books to.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, I believe, reached my high standards. The fact this book won the Newberry Award means no difference to me. I've read many award winning books
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic. Magic in it’s purest form! Woven with folklore and some very important messages. ‬

I can’t wait to the read the companion novels 🖤
L.S. Popovich
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” is an excellent story with a universal message.
A collection of Chinese folktales woven into an overarching story. If you have any interest in folklore this a must. What elevated this story to a true work of art is the author’s mastery of storytelling. The narrative often pauses to tell a Chinese folktale. At first this seems like only a texture for the characters and world but as the story unfolds it becomes apparent that each tale is woven into the tapestry o
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a pretty darn adorable MG novel. Minli lives in a village beside the Fruitless Mountain, and decides to find fortune for her family, for her Ma often complains about how poor they are. To discover that fortune, Minli is told by a goldfish to ask the Old Man of the Moon. So Minli sneaks away, and in her adventures frees a goldfish, rescues a dragon, meets a king, and meets two lucky twins. And on each adventure she's told more folktales as the journey she's on ...more
Victor The Reader
When the Mountain Meets the Moon: My Kindle Review

Blooming with plenty of fantasy and Chinese folklore as we follow a little girl who wants to turn her struggling parents’ troubles around with the help of her father’s tales, it has plenty of whimsical storytelling with short folktales added to make it more of a heartwarming fantasy read. A (100%/Outstanding)
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Actual Rating: 3.5*

I did enjoy this one but I thought the writing was a little juvenile and the stories were a little awkwardly placed at some times. Everything was really interesting to learn and know, but I felt like something was missing that I can't quite put my finger on. I liked the hero's journey in this one and the way the story came to a conclusion, but I feel like there were other stories in between I would have liked to hear and some that I wanted a more satisfying conclusion to.

I rea
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
I really liked the way this book was set up. The story within a story type style made everything more interesting for me. Also, I like how in the end they all tied together making a moral for the story. I loved the character Minli, which is strange because I usually don't like female children characters in books. But Minli showed strong courage and wasn't some stupid little girl that always got herself into trouble. I found myself excited to finish this book to find out what happens. It wasn't a ...more
Abby Johnson
May 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blogged
Inspired by folktales of China, this is the story of a young Chinese girl named Minli. She lives in a poor village underneath a stark mountain and every day her mother expresses her discontent. So Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon to ask him how to change their fortune. What follows is the story of her journey. Along the way she meets many different characters and hears many different stories. The book reads like a fable, which is fitting because it contains so many stories. The end ...more
Katie  Hanna
Oct 23, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This is one of my mom's favorite series, and I'm glad she introduced it to me, it's super enjoyable :D :D

I wanted more emotional depth / angst (which is usually my personal reaction to MG?? so not that unusual), but I still had lots of fun reading this. The descriptions were A++. ESPECIALLY THE FOOD MAH GASH *craves Chinese food* *can't have any right now* *cries*

I will say, the constant "stop the action so we can tell a fairytale explaining how X or Y came to be a Thing" got kinda
Lovely little story about a girl and the adventures she has in an effort to change her family's fortune. Min Li is a caring, resourceful, smart, determined and, above all, kind person. She heads out on her own to improve/change her family's fortune. She encounters a dragon and several people, who she helps and who help her get closer to her goal.
I loved how all the stories recounted by Min Li's father and others along her travels all connected in some way, either through Magistrate Tiger, or an
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Katherine Cowley
I just finished rereading this delightful story, and I loved it even more the second time around. When my youngest sister was 9 she received this book for Christmas. Upon finishing the book she loved it so much that she promptly flipped the book back over and read it again a second time. Only after her second read did she let me borrow it.

Young Minli leaves the Valley of the Fruitless Mountain to seek her fortune for her family, and to save them from the drudgery of laboring endlessly everyday
Zoe's Human
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lt, wishlist
What a magical, wonderful story this is! I was utterly absorbed. The only comparison I can think to make is to Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories. This is a bit more akin to epic fantasy and has a female protagonist, but it has that same feel of a modern fairy tale.

Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, DRA 50, Lexile 810L

UPDATE Regarding the audio version read by Janet Song
While the book was solidly narrated, there was nothing particularly spectacular about the performance. All things being eq
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I knew very little about this book before I read it, which probably contributed greatly to my utter delight in this charming story. I had a hard time putting it down, and was completely absorbed in this simple, but brilliant weaving of Chinese folk-lore and fairy tale. I hope one day to be able to read it aloud with my daughter. The wisdom and cleverness reminded me a little of Oscar Wilde’s stories for children. If you agree that fairy tales are important for all ages, then you will not be disa ...more
Kenya Starflight
I seem to be in the vast minority when it comes to this book -- everyone seems to love it, and the Newbury stamp on the cover just adds to its prestige. I, too, was expecting to love it, as I love mythology from all over the world and found the idea of an adventurous young girl embarking on a journey with a dragon to better her family fortune captivating. Sadly, while the book contains strong messages and weaves together several traditional stories of Chinese folklore, the writing itself is sadl ...more
Megan Agee
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful story! So much wisdom. I want to read all the books by this author! 🐲
Ava Jae
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those looking for diverse MG!
This was really wonderful to read—I'm glad it was assigned in my kidlit class! With its beautiful illustrations, and lovely story based off Chinese mythology, I definitely give a thumbs up to this MG fantasy. :)
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SQHS YLL: Where The Mountians Meet The Moon 7 8 Apr 13, 2018 02:12PM  

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