Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin [in Bloomsbury Review]
Spunky and independent Minli can’t bear to see her parents leading such harsh lives, especially her mother who is so discontented with the family’s poverty that she can’t even enjoy the glorious stories Minli’s father regularly tells her. Minli is determined to change her family’s fortune, and with the help of a talking goldfish, she sets out in search of the Old Man of the Moon high atop Never-Ending Mountain.
Along the way, she meets a dragon who can’t fly but knows how to be a true friend. Back at home, her parents wait for her return with ever-growing worry … but only with Minli’s disappearance does her mother finally recognize that the vastness of their true wealth has nothing to with gold. In the end, true fortune has to do with true thankfulness … a perfect reminder lesson for us all.
Tidbits: For those of you familiar with Grace Lin‘s two other middle-grade novels, The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat, you’ll remember that the two best friends in those books are based on Lin and her real-life best friend, Alvina Ling, who also happens to be Lin’s editor. Alvina Ling adds an incredibly touching note in the advance galley about how this book came to be: “This book was born from the tragedy of [Grace’s] husband Robert‘s illness, and after his untimely death, it has become Grace’s testament to his life. It is absolutely Grace’s best work to date …” Ling is absolutely right … even in advance galley form, without the final full-color illustrations promised to come, it’s definitely a glowing, loving, memorable read.
And goodness, I just found out that this post is Mountain‘s very first review! The news got pinged back from the March 25, 2009 entry of Grace Lin’s blog, even! We’re just going around in circles in this ever-shrinking virtual world!
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult