Minli lives with her parents in the Village of Fruitless Mountain; everything there is dirty, muddy, and brown. She and her parents have little money and little rice to live on, but she loves hearing the stories of legends that her father tells her. Then, one day, after conferring with a goldfish, Minli decides to head out to change her family's fortune. Along the way she meets many different creatures, including a helpful dragon, a pair of twins, a boy who lives with a buffalo, a dangerous tiger, and talking fish.
This book had been on my To Be Read pile for a long time (since before the Newbery winners were announced), but I just never managed to actually pick it up. By the end of the first chapter, though, I was hooked. I was so into Minli's story and eager to read about her journey. The book, physically, is also beautiful; the pages are thick, the print is easy to read, and the illustrations are rich. I loved the way that Grace Lin danced on the line between the story and the story's legends; it was like a puzzle, watching all of the pieces coming in to fit together perfectly. This was a highly enjoyable book that celebrates love, family, friendship, creativity, and hope.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was a Newbery Honor Book for 2010.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Jack and the Beanstalk by E. Nesbit
Tales from China by Cyril Birch
Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly