Young Minli was gifted with a lively spirit that flashed brightly in her drab little village. In planting season she rose before dawn, working beside her parents to place each seedling carefully in the mud. No matter how hard the three worked, they only just managed to get by, living on rice and hoping for better days. Year in and year out, Ma’s unhappy sighs clouded the air. Her daughter resolved to seek better fortune by finding the one soul known for his ability to answer any question: the Old Man of the Moon.
Near a river of salty water, greedy monkeys defended a peach orchard they had just discovered. As Minli approached the rolling stream, a muffled voice broke through the warm clear water. To her astonishment, a brilliant red dragon called out for aid, bound tightly in twine. He had been attacked by the monkeys, who feared his inroads into their orchard. Freed from his bonds, the wingless dragon invited her to climb on his back. He would help her find the Never-Ending Mountain.
Their journey to the Mountain and the Old Man of the Moon brought them to the City of Bright Moonlight, with its clever King and faithful Guardians. In the Inner City, the leaves of the plum trees shone like emeralds. Bamboo and pine trees sparkled like jewels in the sun. Minli and her dragon received two treasures of infinite worth. Joyfully they headed out from the blessed city, clambering over steep and rocky ground. In the wilderness the two heroes were attacked by the brutal Green Tiger, whose poisonous claws brought death to his victims.
Minli’s quick wits had seen her through many perilous adventures. Alone in the wasteland, these gifts alone could not save them. The story that follows is a wonderful tapestry of friendship, generosity and deep courage. Beautifully written, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a graceful and powerful tale.
Grace Lin is a Newberry Honor Winner, National Book Award Finalist, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about her and her timeless stories at: gracelin.com.