Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Review: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

*Review copy provided by publisher for Cybils*
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is the place that Minli journeys to, hoping to change her family's fortune.  Ma and Ba and Minli do not have very much.  They work hard and they just barely scrape by, but Minli finds hope in Ba's stories, hope that there might be more for her family.  Minli decides she must speak to the Man in the Moon about how to change her family's fortune.  So, she sets off on her journey, with directions from a goldfish and along the way makes friends with dragons, kings, boys with buffalos, and a white rabbit.  Will she be able to find the Man in the Moon to ask him her question and will her parents be able to wait for her to return?

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Things I Liked:
This was such a lovely book in many ways.  I loved the gorgeous illustrations that blended so well with the text.  It is a very visually appealing book, meant to be savored.  I thought it was an extra nice touch that the book shows how her parents deal with her being gone.  So many books are about young heroes and heroines going off on adventures and nobody mentions exactly how family left behind deal with it.  While sometimes the action was slow, the morals and meanings behind this deceptively simple story make it a very rewarding read.  I think it would be a fabulous read-aloud - as long as the kids can see the illustrations, too!  Here's a sample of the beautiful language:

"The goldfish man turned around and smiled questioningly at Ma and Ba, who could do nothing but continue to stare.  He was slender and small, which was perhaps why it was easy to mistake his footprints for Minli's.  The dragging lines Ma had thought were from Minli's walking sticks led to his cart, and the bowls of goldfish caught the sifting beams from the sun, slivering it into flashing sparkles of light.  The goldfish man's eyes also flashed, as he looked at Ma and Ba and their dust-covered clothes and haggard, tired faces." p60
Things I Didn't Like:
I think this book will appeal more to parents and adults who will read the story to kids and hope they enjoy it as much.  I'm not sure kids will be picking it up and devouring it on their own, but it is certainly a book adults will want to share with them!

The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****

Do you suppose your taste in children's/MG/YA literature changes as you get older?

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.
If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I can't wait to read this one. It sounds great! I do wonder about actual kid appeal for many of the Newberrys. I think they always seem to have more adult appeal than target audience appeal.

  2. I agree: I can't see my girls picking up this on their own, but I desperately want to read it aloud to them!

  3. GreenBean, I agree. I guess that's what you get when the committee is made up of adults. Plus, of course, they don't take kid-appeal into the equation :)

    Melissa, maybe they'll love it after you read it together!

  4. Hey, just stopping by as host of the next book reviews blog carnival, to say great review! and thanks for the submission.

  5. Darren, thanks for stopping by - I look forward to the carnival!


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