Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A Newbery Honor Winner A New York Times Bestseller
This stunning fantasy inspired by Chinese folklore is a companion novel to Starry River of the Sky and the New York Times bestselling and National Book Award finalist When the Sea Turned to Silver
In the valleyofFruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz and Kelly Barnhill's The Girl Who Drank the Moon . Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group Limited, 2009
ISBN: 9780316114271


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 16, 2019

This book is insightful and beautifully written. I love the way the author wove in stories and legends within the primary plot of the book, which all provide important lessons for the main character as well as the reader. The vocab in this book is simple, which makes it perfect for children, however, the length makes it more suited to older children.

May 05, 2019

This is an engaging, well-crafted book. I enjoyed the way Lin interwove the main plot line with stories drawing from her Chinese heritage. I liked protagonist Minli, a complex female character who read 'real' as well as her sidekick, Dragon, who (despite being a dragon) also read real. The interweaving of these main characters with the others that populated the book was wonderfully done, bringing new elements to the story without ever bogging down the plot.

I will definitely read other work by this author.

Apr 06, 2019

I wuv how Minli is strong and willing to risk her life to help her village

Dec 29, 2018

This is a wonderful book! It really teaches good lessons. #julietloves

JCLBeckyC Nov 19, 2018

This vivid, evocative fantasy seamlessly weaves Chinese folk tales with an adventure story modern children will love. The book has beautiful illustrations for those who want to savor this page-turner a little longer, but I recommend the audio version, richly read by Janet Song. It's a great choice for long family car rides, especially around the Thanksgiving holiday when we're in the mood to relish what's most important in life.

Sep 12, 2018

I have read this book over five times. I loved it so much i bought it for my friend. I recommend everyone read this!

Aug 04, 2017

A wonderful Chinese folklore, and very entertaining. Suitable for all ages and listed in the Future Classics book list!

ArapahoeSteffen Mar 20, 2017

Beautiful and entertaining mixture of traditional Chinese Folktale and the author's (Grace Lin)own inventive storytelling. A Newberry Honor Book.

The book was very adventurous and magical. - Emily, age 10

Dec 31, 2016

WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by Grace Lin is the story of Minli, a young girl who lives with her Ma and Ba in the Village of Fruitless Mountain, who decides to find the Old Man of the Moon and change her fortune. This was a beautiful fantasy novel, filled with Chinese folklore and illustrations (by the author I believe) that every middle grade reader should have on their shelf.

This book is filled with stories and that really spoke to the past child-me who wanted to learn about every myth, legend and historical event of a book’s world. INKHEART by Cornelia Funke will forever be my favourite childhood book for this reason. To clarify, there would be the story of Minli, what I’d call the main text and then there were the stories the characters would tell each other. These stories were given a different format – italicized font, a title separating it from the main text – so it felt like a story within a story. These stories would either be inspired by Chinese folklore and the author’s imagination or were only slightly embellished (Lin 294). What I loved most about these stories, they were all connected in one way or another. For example, a main character of one story might be a minor character in another. After a story has been told, a character of it might be mentioned in passing, so you start picking up on that. How these stories were connected with each other and the main text really depended on the character telling it and where that character lived. Truly stunning!

I loved every character in this book – from Minli to her parents to the minor characters and even the villains/antagonists in the stories the characters told to each other. However, the characters aren’t as impressive as the characters of other middle grade books. This is not to say the characters are underdeveloped but this book is basically a book of fairytales, so the characters aren’t meant to be that complex. I’m worried a MG reader might get bored, when thinking about characters of other books. I would also say this book might be a hit or miss for people that don’t usually read middle grade. I loved this for the stories, but if you don’t enjoy them, I’m not sure if the characters can tide you over.

I was never bored with the plot and I think Lin is a born storyteller. The things the author would come up with and how Minli & other characters overcame those odds were incredible. I found myself being able to easily guess what would happen next, but that didn’t deter from the story for me. I think this was done on purpose and fit with the whole fairytale format. I wasn’t familiar with any of the folktales but being able to still guess what would happen in most cases helped me connect with those stories and characters. I also loved that Ma and Ba regularly had chapters told in their POV. Usually in fairytales, the parents are absent but this was a nice and realistic change.

I would 100% recommend this book. The originality of the stories and the people and creatures Minli meets on her journey was absolutely amazing! Talking fish, dragons, beautiful illustrations and greedy monkeys?! What more could you ask for? I can’t wait to read more of Lin’s works.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Aug 16, 2019

Sophia222 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jul 12, 2019

Fourcedow thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jun 17, 2017

lbnemi thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Mar 20, 2017

black_hawk_633 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

RobertELPL Mar 06, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jul 04, 2016

12345ABC_1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Oct 14, 2015

apechow03 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jan 15, 2013

hanny131 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Oct 11, 2012

audreyscox thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

Jul 02, 2012

indigo_panda_85 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 6 and 12


Add a Summary
Jun 04, 2015

a girl called Minli, goes on adventures to make her village a happier place.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number



Find it at MPL

To Top