If you want to read an exquisitely written middle grade book where fantasy-meets-reality, look no further than Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. This book was one of our bedtime reads last year, and it has been one of my favorite books. Grace won a 2010 Newberry Honor for this as well as other awards and accolades. Grace has also been an avid supporter of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign.
In this story, Minli embarks on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon, thus leaving behind her bitter, defeated parents and poverty-stricken life. The Old Man possesses the answers to all questions, and Minli wants to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. Grace uses the quintessential "hero's journey" structure for her story anchored by unforgettable, original characters. The dialogue is realistic and entertaining. The result is perfect pacing, impeccable character development, and an emotional plot line. The relationship between Minli and her parents will bring tears to your eyes as the dynamic changes from the beginning to the end of the story. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon generated discussions about following your dreams, self-sacrifice, and the true definition of happiness with Kara and Tristan.
Check out this wonderful book for yourself or your children. The illustrations, by the way, are breathtaking. I promise you will not be disappointed with this book.
If you like multi-cultural stories, be sure to download The Black Rose And Other Scary Stories That Really Happened To Me from Amazon. The four scary short stories in this collection are reminiscent of Mexican folktales such as La Llorona and Dancing With A Ghost. Be prepared to be scared.