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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Paperback – April 12, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 3-6–Living in the shadow of the Fruitless Mountain, Minli and her parents spend their days working in the rice fields, barely growing enough to feed themselves. Every night, Minli's father tells her stories about the Jade Dragon that keeps the mountain bare, the greedy and mean Magistrate Tiger, and the Old Man of the Moon who holds everyone's destiny. Determined to change her family's fortune, Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon, urged on by a talking goldfish who gives her clues to complete her journey. Along the way she makes new friends including a flightless dragon and an orphan and proves her resourcefulness when she tricks a group of greedy monkeys and gets help from a king. Interwoven with Minli's quest are tales told by her father and by those she meets on the way. While these tales are original to Lin, many characters, settings, and themes are taken from traditional Chinese folklore. The author's writing is elegant, and her full-color illustrations are stunning. Minli's determination to help her family, as well as the grief her parents feel at her absence, is compelling and thoroughly human.–Jennifer Rothschild, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Oxon Hill, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In this enchanted and enchanting adventure, Minli, whose name means “quick thinking,” lives with her desperately poor parents at the confluence of Fruitless Mountain and the Jade River. While her mother worries and complains about their lot, her father brightens their evenings with storytelling. One day, after a goldfish salesman promises that his wares will bring good luck, Minli spends one of her only two coins in an effort to help her family. After her mother ridicules what she believes to be a foolish purchase, Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon, who, it is told, may impart the true secret to good fortune. Along the way, she finds excitement, danger, humor, magic, and wisdom, and she befriends a flightless dragon, a talking fish, and other companions and helpmates in her quest. With beautiful language, Lin creates a strong, memorable heroine and a mystical land. Stories, drawn from a rich history of Chinese folktales, weave throughout her narrative, deepening the sense of both the characters and the setting and smoothly furthering the plot. Children will embrace this accessible, timeless story about the evil of greed and the joy of gratitude. Lin’s own full-color drawings open each chapter. Grades 3-6. --Andrew Medlar --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316038636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316038638
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (407 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello! Thanks so much for your interest in me and my books!

I grew up in Upstate NY with my parents and 2 sisters, whom are featured in many of my books, including "Dim Sum For Everyone!" and my novels, "The Year of the Dog" and "The Year of the Rat." My mother and I were the star characters in my first book, "The Ugly Vegetables"--I cut both my sisters out of that story! They were quite upset with me and made me promise never to cut them out again. And since then, I haven't...yet.

While many of my books highlight my family, not all of them do. My Newbery Honor-winning novel "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon," is an Asian inspired fantasy that some people call a Chinese 'Wizard of Oz,' and my early reader "Ling & Ting" is inspired by the old 'Flicka, Dicka & Ricka' books I read when I was young.

I hope you enjoy my books. Please visit my website: for more info about them (behind the scene stories and pictures) as well as other amusing anecdotes!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

211 of 214 people found the following review helpful By Jane Litte VINE VOICE on August 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written fable for people of all ages, not just those in grades 3-6. I just finished reading this story to my five year old. I think I may have gotten more from it than she did but she was enraptured as we read three chapters every night for the last few weeks.

Minli is a girl whose family is very poor. Her mother is embittered about their lack of fortune while her father tries to cheer the family up with fanciful tales. All day the three work in the rice fields and eke out just enough from the harvest to provide one bowl of rice each night. Determined to change their fortune, Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon. Old Man of the Moon holds the book of fortune and can not only tell the future, but also change the future.

As Minli journeys to find Never Ending Mountain, the home of Old Man of the Moon, she is joined by a flightless dragon who has lived for years upon years in the forest, hiding and alone. Along the way, Minli meets and hears the fortunes of the very rich and the very poor until she learns an important lesson about herself, her family, and their fortune. While Minli is away, Ma and Ba have to come to terms with Minli's absence.

About every other chapter, there is a Chinese fairy tale told by one of the characters (never Minli though). Each one of these stories are interwoven with each other like the tangled strings of Fortune that Old Man of the Moon ties to the figures on the earth.

There are many good "teachable moments" in the story from each encounter than Minli has in her journey and enough food for thought that adults who read it will come away satiated.

While I loved that it had Asian aspects to it, I hope that it will not deter others from reading it because Minli's adventure is one for any culture.
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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By J. Grambo on October 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Minli lived with her parents in a small village, in the shadow of Fruitless Mountain. The family - indeed, the whole village - was desperately poor. Minli's mother bemoaned their threadbare clothes and scanty food. But her father, even though gray and overworked, cheered up every evening when he told Minli one of the Chinese folktales that delighted her. Some of her favorite stories were about the Old Man of the Moon, who lived on the Never-Ending Mountain, and knew everything.

When a goldfish seller came to the village, Minli was enchanted by the cheerful, bright fish, so different from the gray and brown world that she lived in every day. On an impulse, she spent one of her two copper coins, and bought a goldfish to bring fortune to her home.

Minli's mother was not happy with the goldfish. They had barely enough to eat; how could they feed a pet? After her father gave up a few grains of his precious dinner rice to feed the fish, Minli realized what the sacrifice would be to feed it, so she sadly released her goldfish into the river.

To her surprise, the grateful goldfish told Minli how to find the Never-Ending Mountain of her father's folktales. There, she could ask the Old Man of the Moon how to bring good fortune to their house. So Minli set off on a journey to find the Never-Ending Mountains. Along the way, she met a dragon who couldn't fly, and other mythical characters who taught and helped her on her journey.

Interwoven with Minli's story are wonderful stories written in Chinese folktale style. These stories, told by Minli's father, become both the backdrop and the framework for the story of Minli's adventures on her journey.

Overall, a lovely, lyrical book, written for ages 8-12, but more widely enjoyable.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Bates on December 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this book to my six year old daughter. We enjoyed it so very much. We had been reading a few chapters a night and of course had to do 10 at one time last night so we could find out what happened. She was full of oohs and ahhhs, gasps and sighs. Parts of this book have become allegory for us...she will turn to me and say "this is just like Minli when...". I know this book will become a classic in our family and my daughters will read it to their daughters.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Gym Parent on December 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I don't typically write reviews but this book was an exceptional piece of children's literature that I hope makes its way into many more households. Grace Lin's newest book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, has done something that very few books have been able to do in our household - hold the rapt attention of both my children from beginning to end. Each night our family would reach a few chapters of this book before bedtime. It immediately captured our imagination and held onto it. My children (and I) loved to look at the beautiful color illustrations that Grace has interspersed throughout the book. Her writing is incredibly descriptive and pulls you into the story. Many others have already written about the synopsis of this book so I will not go into that. I will say that this book was so beloved by my 8 year old that she begged me to buy copies for her teachers so that she could share this book with them in hopes that they will be able to share it with others. As a parent, how could I want anything else from a book? Thank you Grace Lin!
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