FRIDAY BOOK SHARING!
What are you reading?
Beautiful, lyrical, magical. Grace Lin delivers a classic in Where the Mountain Meets the Moon with the story of Minli and her family, who live in the Valley of the Fruitless Mountain. Minli’s father tells her stories of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon, while Minli’s mother says the stories are just nonsense. But working tirelessly in the fields, Minli finds comfort and inspiration in these stories. Her family toils daily in the fields, just to earn their daily rice. One day, Minli decides to buy a goldfish from a traveling man, in the hopes of changing her family’s fortune. Her mother declares the goldfish to be a foolish purchase. Minli lets the fish go in the river, and this one act changes her life. She decides to take off on her own journey in order to change her family’s fortune. She plans to ask the Old Man of the Moon what she can do to help her family. When Minli’s parents discover she is missing, they are heartbroken and worried, setting out to find her and bring her home. But Minli discovers a cast of unusual, magical, and helpful creatures along the way, including a dragon who becomes her friend and confidant.
Throughout Minli’s story we also have stories sprinkled throughout – from the magical creatures and those that Minli meets on her journey. Each story adds to Minli’s own tale, and the power of each story is apparent as Minli moves closer and closer to the Old Man of the Moon. Lin illustrated the book with gorgeous, inviting pictures that depict Minli and her magical friends. The artistry of the illustrations depict the Chinese art and history at work in the story. In an Author’s Note, Lin discusses the inspiration found in the stories she heard and read as a child, and this is apparent in the blend of magic and Chinese folk tales and fairy tales, found throughout Minli’s fantastical story.
The power of stories and the power of the story teller reverberate throughout Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I couldn’t help but think about the full power – for the listener and the speaker – of the stories that shape Minli. The stories bring life and magic to the reader and Minli along with her family. And through the power of stories we also see the power of family and love, as no matter what, Minli’s parents are dedicated in their love for her and their quest to bring their family together. It is the power of love, family, history and faith that truly bring the magic to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.