"'You know where the Never-Ending Mountain is?' the dragon asked. 'I thought to see the Old Man of the Moon was impossible. You must be very wise to know how to find him.' 'Not really,' Minli said. 'I got the directions from a goldfish.'"
the Mountain Meets the Moon
Minli is a young Chinese girl who lives in the shadow of the Fruitless Mountain where life is hard. Her heart breaks for her mother who constantly bemoans the never ending toil in the rice fields for little more than to keep them from starving. Minli dreams of being able to do somethiing to change the family's fortune. Her father finds comfort in in the folktales about the Jade Dragon who keeps their mountain bare, the greedy Magistrate Tiger, and the Old Man of the Moon who holds everyone's destinies. Minli cherishes the stories that he shares every night to brighten their evenings and always ponders ways to bring happiness into her mother's life.
One morning, a stranger shouted "Goldfish! Bring fortune to your home!" Minli was drawn to him like a moth to a candle, asking how that could be true. Upon seeing the goldfish in his bowls and hearing, she spent one of her only copper coins to purchase one. Naturally, her parents were not happy that she wasted her money on a goldfish. After she explained how it could change their fortune, her father told her "The Story of The Old Man of the Moon."
Inspired by her father's story, that night, Minli slipped off on a journey, guided by the instructions from the goldfish and weaving together people, monkeys, a flightless dragon, and stories that guide her search for The Old Man of the Moon who knows everything and can answer any question. Along the way, she finds excitement, danger, humor, magic, and wisdom, and she befriends a flightless dragon, a talking fish, and other companions and helpmates in her quest.
Minli's determination to help her family, as well as the grief her parents feel at her absence, is compelling and thoroughly human. Behind the magic and absolute delight of other fairytale aspects like the talking animals, real morals provide enrichment for character-building and problem solving.
The Kids' Wings literature guide invites group discussion, problem solving, research, writing, skill building, and authentic writing prompts and a culminating interactive Jeopardy-type game, a great study for all, including gifted and talented students. Teachers who want to bring folktales to life in their classrooms must make this book and the Kids Wings guide part of their classroom literature activities.
A 29-page teacher guide, activity unit PLUS interactive Jeopardy-type game, perfect for lesson planning, handouts, or projection on your SmartBoard for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is now available!
The Activity Guide Contains:
of unit pages:
Other books about kids of other cultures:
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medal (Korea)
Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
Tap Dancing on the Roof by Linda Sue Park
Earth Dragon Awakes by Laurence Yep (Chinese Americans)
Selavi by Youme (Haiti)
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© 2011, Suzy
Red, Lockhart, Texas
Disclaimer: Texas Bluebonnet AwardSM is a service mark of the Texas Library Association, which is in no way affiliated with Kids' Wings or Suzy Red. Use of the Texas Bluebonnet Award mark in these materials does not imply any endorsement of any kind on behalf of the Texas Library Association. The Texas Bluebonnet Book Master ListSM was selected by the Texas Bluebonnet Award Committee of the Texas Library Association.