Where The Mountain Meets The Moon
by Grace Lin
Rating: (Worth Reading)
By a bare mountain, where the Jade River runs through, a girl called Minli lives in a poor village. Minli's family is poor, but she aspires to bring riches to her family. She embarks on an adventure to do exactly that, and the book tells the story of her pluck, determination and sacrifice for her friend. The story is told beautifully through mini-stories within the story, and in the end, when Minli's dreams come true, she realizes true happiness is to be happy with what you have, and to be among friends.
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Things to keep in mind about this book:
Meggie (Rating: Worth Reading)
I really liked this book because of how lively and adventurous the main character, Minli, was. I have a copy of the book, signed by Grace Lin, which should tell you how much I liked it.
Still, I don't like this as much as other books like Inkheart. I like to read books that build vivid fantasy worlds, and in this book, there is a magical element, but mostly the world is the same as ours. The focus is more on the characters and has less emphasis on the fantasy world.
Mo (Rating: Exceptional)
I can't speak highly enough about this book. There are many reasons I liked it.
First, the main character is one that every child will identify with - one who has admirable aspirations but no one takes her seriously. Minli, the main character, desperately wants her family to not be poor, and thinks of ways she can earn riches for her family. Her mother dismisses her ideas as impractical fancy, although her father indulges her.
Second, this is a story of friendship and sacrifice. The main character, Minli, embarks on a quest to better the lot of her family, and in the end, after enduring many adventures, sacrifices everything for her friend, the Dragon. I don't find many books that emphasize the aspect of sacrificing for others, and for this, I recommend this book highly.
Lastly, the story is very well-told. The book has a clever device where, in every chapter, one of the characters in the story tells a story of their own. Each story-within-a-story seems to be independent, until the end where all of those stitch together in a beautiful tapestry. I have never seen this done elsewhere, and the effect is magical.