from goodreads: 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.
For the last few months, my 12 year old son and I have been preparing for the battle of the books at his school. This was such a fun program for the kids. I saw them reading books they wouldn’t ordinarily read. And it was fun for me to read the books with my son and discuss them with him. My favorite book was Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (his was The Hobbit!).
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a sweet story about a girl who sets out on an adventure to try and change the fortune of her very poor family. Along the way, Minli meets several characters who help her on her journey (a little reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz!). The thing I love about this book is that Minli makes connections throughout her journey to the stories she has been told by her father–histories and folk tales that have been passed down through generations. The writing is beautiful and flowing which added to the story within a story.
I love the characters. Minli has strength along with her sweet innocence. She is smart in the way she interprets the clues in searching for the Old Man in the Moon. Her father, Ba, is strong, loving, and hopeful. Her mother, Ma, undergoes the most change and becomes grateful as she realizes the worth of family.
It’s a magical quest story woven of Chinese folk tales that all ages would enjoy. In the end, the folk tales all came together which add richness to the main plot.