Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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.
My take: This is a treasure trove of Chinese fables, stories, and author's fantastic imagination. With Minli as the protagonist looking for whatever would make her mother happy and her father not so tired, she sets out on a grand adventure to find the man who has all the answers. Based on stories told by her father, she embarks with very few provisions. Along the way, she collects stories which weave together and connect to one another which also connects her to all she crosses paths.
Readability is excellent. The chapters are short and interspersed with the protagonist's journey and stories she is told. She meets different people and creatures, makes friends, collects wisdom, and ultimately discovers faith, gratitude, and love.
Excellent choice for the reluctant reader.