Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where-the-Mountain-Meets-thGrace Lin.  Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2009, 2011.  Kindle Edition.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a story that had me thinking, each step of the way: This is amazing … This. Is. Amazing … This is Seriously! Amazing!

It’s a blend of fairy tale(s within a fairy tale), low fantasy, and magical realism –

  • Fairy tale(s) – the story as a whole is a relatively simple hero’s journey with a clear message.  Within that main story, at different points in Minli’s journey, characters will share legends and bits of personal or family history that the text sets apart as stories:
    • The Story of Fruitless Mountain
    • The Story the Girl Told the Green Tiger
    • Etc.
  • Low fantasy because there are characters who don’t believe in the supernatural until they see it for themselves;
  • And magical realism because there are many more characters who, when they do witness something magical/supernatural, either treat it like an ordinary occurrence, or are already prepared to accept it as logical/possible:

She realized she was having a conversation with a goldfish, which was very unusual, so she decided to listen. [1]

I love how all of these layers fit together, all the interconnections between characters and stories.  I love the overall mythic feel of the world as Grace Lin portrays it.  And, surprise of surprises, I love descriptions like this:

And with a bow, the goldfish man walked away; his bowls of goldfish cast pieces of rainbows in the air, making him sparkle in the sun. [2]

I can’t even think of anything else to say at the moment, except that the Newbery Honor was very well deserved.  And I’d love to have seen this production:


. . . . . . . .

[1] Pg. 29

[2] Pgs 67-68.

1/100th of an Altairian dollar for your thoughts?

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