Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Muliticultural Winner!

     Oh, okay so I'm a little behind in my life but I eventually get around to it.  I recently finished Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by the amazing Grace Lin, which was a Newberry Honor Winner in 2010.  Even though it took me a long time to get to it, it was definetely worth reading.  I loved the mixture of folktales into this family/friendship story.  Reading this book could make you a better person, really and the message of being true to yourself  will come through even for elementary students.  The message is subtle though even with the wonderful fairy tale-like ending. 

Book Synopsis:

In the Valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli spends her days working hard in the fields and her nights listening to her father spin fantastic tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon. Minli’s mother, tired of their poor life, chides him for filling her head with nonsense. But Minli believes these enchanting stories and embarks on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and ask him how her family can change their fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest.

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of happiness, family, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless adventure story in the classic tradition of The Wizard of Oz.

My thoughts:

     I loved Minli's character as she was all good things, brave and kind, but not too perfect.  This is the type of book I want to save on the shelf for Groovy Girl to read as her chapter book skills improve.  As a struggling third grade reader she wouldn't make it all the way through it herself but one day soon and I want it to be waiting on the shelf with Beverly Cleary.  I should have read it aloud to her but I used it as my school chapter book-reading it to myself to model good quiet reading to 4th and 5th grade students (and read it during my own lunch time) and now I have several students in mind to pass it on to for their own reading enjoyment.

    I loved the images in this book-the goldfish man, the brilliant red dragon, the mountains-I would love to see this made in to an animated movie (a good one, of course) because I can picture it all so well in my head.  I've enjoyed Grace Lin's other books and use them for my lunch time book clubs with 4th and 5th graders but this book, in my mind, is a whole new level of excellence on her part!  Way to go, Grace Lin!

Random Quote:
Feasting on juicy peaches, Minli and the dragon walked through the woods for many days.  At night, when the dragon slept, Minli missed Ma and Ba.  "But this is for our fortune, so they don't have to work so hard anymore," Minli told herself when she thought about the worry they must  have been feeling.  "When I get back, Ba can rest and Ma will never have to sigh again.  They'll see."  But the lonely moon never seemed to gaze comfortably down on her. [88]
If you have a young person needing a gift for the holiday season~this would be a wonderful book to receive!
I am an IndieBound affiliate and will earn a small pittance if you buy it from this site-Click on the title here....Where the Mountain Meets the Moon


Jen Bigheart said...

I read Year of the Dog, but not the sequel. I have heard wonderful things about this book too!


Jen @ I Read Banned Books

Heather said...

I have been reading books set in China lately, this would be a good addtion.