Up today is another middle grade book review! This one is a Newbury Honor that I’ve heard great things about. Check out below for my thoughts! I hope you enjoy 🙂
Ownership: Borrowed from Library
Genre: Middle Grade; Folklore; Fantasy
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Price: $7.99 (paperback);
Place: Amazon, B & N, Book Depository, GoodReads, IndieBound
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin follows Minli who lives with her two parents in a small village next to Fruitless Mountain. She spends her days helping her parents in their rice field and her evenings listening to her father’s stories featuring the Old Man of the Moon. However, her mother’s discontent of their life situation troubles Minli. So after helping a unique friend, Minli sets out on a journey to seek the answer from the Old Man from the Moon on how to bring success to her family.
Grace Lin does a wonderful job of setting the storyline. Minli is a brave young heroine who’s wish for her parents’ and village’s success makes her an even stronger main character to root for as well as an endearing one. I connected with her right away and saw pieces of my younger self in her. I rooted for her success at every step of her journey. I enjoyed her eagerness and her trust in the journey as well as her steadfast belief in the stories her father told. I also loved how she stayed true to herself throughout her travels.
Lin also does a wonderful job of weaving in the Chinese folklore. I loved how she set up the folklore “stories” within the overall story and how it was such a smooth transition from the main story to the folktale. I really applaud Lin for this writing style choice. I think it worked really well with this story and made the story more well-rounded. Speaking of the inclusion of the folklore stories, I loved that Lin drew from her own experiences reading and studying Chinese folklore as a younger person as well as while she grew up. It was really cool to read her author’s note and see the list of Chinese folklore books she drew from featured at the end of the book.
Minli’s journey included a lot of unique characters. These side character were a delight to meet and I enjoyed seeing Minli’s interaction with them. Her one friend for most of the journey had to be my favorite!
The imagery that Lin created was also enjoyable to read. The one scene towards the end with the Old Man from the Moon was really well written and I loved being able to imagine it in my mind. I had no trouble imaging all the scenes throughout the novel which is something I sometimes struggle with in other novels. Her imagery skills are on point!
This story was a great taste of Chinese folklore and would be a great book for young readers, especially for readers who like adventures, but not too much scare factor or violence. This might also be a great book for someone who doesn’t enjoy reading that much as the book really captured my attention & I feel it would capture a lot of readers’ attentions as well. I read this story really fast and felt the pacing was spot on. Also, the beautiful full-colored illustrations really enhance the reader’s interest & experience! So definitely pick this one up if you haven’t! This wasn’t a Newbury Honor book for no reason! I’ll be checking out Lin’s other stories since I enjoyed this one so much!
Have you read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon? Have you read any of Grace Lin’s novels? Do you know any other novels based on Chinese folklore? Let me know in the comments below!
*Disclaimer: None of my links on this post or on this blog are affiliate links. If I ever begin to participate in affiliate links, I will let you know. 🙂