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The dragon and the moon

Book: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Ages: 8+

Relationship to country: This book takes place in China and includes many Chinese fairytales and folktales

Book in a nutshell: A girl goes on a great adventure to help her family


In this book, a girl named Minli lives in a poor village, and her family works very hard growing rice. At the end of long days, Minli's dad always tells her magical stories, like the story about the man on the moon or the story of the secret of the happy paper or the story of the fruitless mountain. Her mom doesn't believe in these stories, but Minli does believe that they are true. 

Minli only had two copper coins, and she spent one of them to buy a goldfish. Minli promised that she would feed the goldfish with her own dinner, but instead her father fed the goldfish with his own dinner. Minli decided that she must free the goldfish because she does not want her father to give up his food anymore. As the goldfish was about to swim away, the goldfish spoke! She told Minli that she could tell Minli how to get to the man on the moon from her father's stories. The man on the moon could answer any question in the world. Minli wanted to ask him how to bring good fortune to her family.

From there, Minli follows a magical compass and finds a dragon and goes on a long and exciting adventure. The author tells us many Chinese fairytales and folktales as we read the book. I really enjoyed the adventure in this book. But I also really liked how Minli after her long journey ends up making a sacrifice and asking the man on the moon to help her friend instead. I admired this. I think anyone who enjoys adventure, fantasy, and folktales would like this book.