Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

For the past month and a half our nights have been filled with Grace Lin's Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  It was published in 2009 and was a Newbery Honor recipient. Our local librarian recommended it as a great book for my seven-year-old so we read it aloud one (or two, or three or more) chapter a night. My five-year-old came in and out of listening - but in the end both really loved this book.

Minli lives at the foot of Fruitless Mountain in a small shack with her Ma and Ba.  Her life is filled with hard work, sparse rice and nightly folktale stories by her Ba.  When Minli hears the story of the Old Man of the Moon, who knows the answers to life's most important questions, she decides to leave in the middle of the night to seek him out and change her fortune.

The story follows her journey to meet the Old Man of the Moon and the many adventures she encounters.  Along the way she meets Dragon, who can not fly and has only ever been called Dragon.  He decides to join Minli and ask the Old Man of the Moon to help him fly.  Along the way they encounter a monkey filled jungle, a meeting with the King, and a ferocious green tiger, among other things.

This story is well-written and magical.  I love the folktales that are intertwined throughout the main story.  Each story adds to the mystique of the novel as well as being an important part of the final woven tale.  My daughter fell in love with this story and with Grace Lin as an author.  She is on a quest to read all things Grace Lin and whenever she hears a big, seemingly unanswerable, question she says, "That is a question for the Old Man of the Moon."

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