Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWest meets East in Grace Lin’s newest novel, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. It’s a wonderful introduction to at least a small piece of Chinese culture, the folklore. I am embarrassed to say that, prior to this book, my knowledge of Eastern folklore was mostly limited to Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Nightingale.”

Now Ms. Lin has opened my mind to a world of benevolent dragons, malicious monkeys, ingenious children, wicked villains and mystical sages. Despite the fact that, except for the monkeys, these are all conventions of European fairytales, here they have a different feel. There’s adventure, danger, and suspense but somehow, and perhaps this is the Chinese influence, the story has a different feel. Minli, unlike many European folktale characters undertakes her adventure for purely altruistic reasons. Her mother is desperately unhappy and Minli wants to help her. Even in the direst of situations, the heroine’s inner resolve to improve the lot of her family keeps her level headed and on her true path.

I was not prepared to, but I loved this book. Lin’s spunky heroine, Minli–not so unlike Pacy in her semi-utobiographical novels Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat—will enchant girls of any ethnicity.
Despite the fact that I’m a big Percy Jackson fan, in my humble opinion, it’s a delightful change of pace from the super cool guy action heroes of late.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, was a choice of Al Roker’s Book Club for Kids, a part of The Today Show. Here is a short video of the Grace Lin talking with Al and some of the kids who read the book.

Posted by: Eileen

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