Where the Mountain Meets the Moon


The inspirational tale of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin is great story of family and the bond they share.  The book is reviewed by Melissa G. at Sweet on Books.

What You Need to Know:

• Minli, a young girl from a poor village in China, embarks on a journey with the hope of changing her family’s fate.

• The story moves back and forth between Minli’s adventure and a series of captivating folktales.

• Although based on traditional Chinese folktales, those told in Where the Mountain Meets the Moon were created by the author.

• In the “Behind the Story” segment at the back of the book, Grace Lin shares her inspiration for these tales.

• Among the many awards it has received, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a 2010 Newbury Honor book, a 2010 E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor book, and a NY Times bestseller.


Life for Minli and her parents isn’t easy. They work hard in the fields all day and still have little to eat and no money. All they really have are the stories that Minli’s father tells them. In fact, “What kept Minli from becoming dull and brown like the rest of the village were the stories her father told her every night at dinner.” But that doesn’t seem to be enough for Minli’s mother who sighs all day and seems to find little joy in the world. One day, a goldfish man comes to town, and Minli uses one of her family’s only two coins to buy a fish which the salesman claims will bring fortune into her home. Will it work, or as her mother says, is she wasting time on impossible dreams?

The fish is just the beginning of Minli’s plan. Without telling anyone, Minli goes in search of Never-Ending Mountain so that she can ask the Old Man of the Moon how to change her fortune. Along the way, she meets a dragon and a king, she tricks some monkeys, fights a Green Tiger, visits a village where seeds rain from the sky, and climbs to the heavens on a staircase made of thread. Throughout her travels, Minli encounters unique characters who each share valuable life lessons as they help her to complete her mission.

This inspirational tale offers countless topics of conversation, making it an excellent choice for book groups or classroom discussions. While the story is unique in its cultural elements, the troubles of a young girl can be understood in any part of the world, and readers will be drawn to Minli’s determination, compassion and cleverness. The intricate and beautifully vibrant illustrations perfectly match the quality and thoughtfulness of the text. This book is a must read!

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