Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Middle Grade Novel (English & Chinese)

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪 Grace Lin middle grade adventure fantasy fiction novel in Chinese and English

My 7-year-old daughter wants me to tell you about her new favorite book: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪 (yuèyè xiān zōng)! So here we are! Available in English and Chinese, Grace Lin’s middle-grade, fantasy-adventure novel is a true masterpiece.

To be honest, I haven’t been able to keep up with my daughter’s reading! Since I’ve only read part of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon in English, much of this book review is based on my daughter’s bilingual, enthusiastic report!

Related: Chinese Reading Progress: Videos of My Daughter From Age 3-6 Years

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪 Grace Lin chapter book in Chinese and English
Reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon in English (Amazon | Bookshop)

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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪

  • Author and illustrator: Grace Lin 林珮思 (Línpèisī)
  • Age: 8-12 years
  • Grade level: 5 and up
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (English); 河北教育出版社 (simplified Chinese); 小天下 (traditional Chinese)
  • Where to buy:
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪 Grace Lin chapter book in Chinese and English
Reading Chinese translation 月夜仙踪

What is Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪 about?

Minli 敏俐 (Mǐn lì) lives with her parents in Fruitless Mountain 无果山 (Wú guǒ shān). Minli’s family is poor, but her father’s stories are rich and encouraging. When her father tells about the Old Man of the Moon who has the power to change a family’s fortune, Minli becomes determined to find him. On her journey, she meets Dragon who can but not fly, and Dragon becomes her good friend.

Eventually, when Minli and Dragon encounter the Old Man, Old Man offers her the chance to ask only 1 question. Minli has to consider which dilemma is more important: to fix her family’s fortune or to help her Dragon friend fly. She chooses the latter, and once she follows Old Man’s advice, Dragon is able to fly. While Dragon flies her back home, Minli sees transformation to fortune beyond her dreams.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪 Grace Lin middle grade adventure fantasy fiction novel in Chinese and English
Chinese version (left) is 235 pages compared to English version (right) 278 pages

Challenges with finding bilingual books for my avid elementary reader

Before discovering Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, my daughter hit a Chinese reading plateau for several months. Her English reading level has officially surpassed Chinese, so lately, she has been preferring English books. Other than historical picture books (eg, Women’s History Month), she was getting bored of Chinese books despite the countless options we have at home.

The last books she devoured were the Mindy Kim chapter books in English (available on Amazon and Bookshop) and the Journey to the West 西游记 series in Chinese.

In addition, it’s been hard to gauge her reading level since she prefers to read by herself and doesn’t really want me to read to her anymore. (Sob!! My baby girl is growing up too fast!!)

Explore this: How I Taught My Child 1000+ Chinese Characters as a Non-Fluent Speaker

I actually had no idea she was ready for middle-grade novels until the day she was glued to the couch with Where the Mountain Meets the Moon in her hands. She couldn’t put it down, didn’t want to leave the house, and finished the 278 page book in 2 days!

Although the reading level is considered middle grade due to the length, character development, and complexity of the plot, the book is also suitable for younger kids like my daughter. Note that the green tiger 绿虎 / 綠虎 (lǜ hǔ) is a particularly ‘evil’ character that my daughter describes as “a little bit scary”, the book is otherwise suspenseful but not frightening. However, there is no violence, romance, or other mature content.

Then she was over-the-moon ecstatic when I found the Chinese version, 月夜仙踪! She’s about halfway through 月夜仙踪 and discussing it with her Chinese tutor. Each page has about 1-3 unfamiliar Chinese characters.

Sometimes she uses her bilingual Youdao dictionary pen to help her read new Chinese words. However, too often she skips those words, because she doesn’t want to take the time to pause! This is something we’ve been working on, and I welcome any tips if your child has gone through something similar!

As the Chinese version is taking longer for her to finish, I’ll update this post with more thoughts when she is done!

Pictures inside Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪

Here’s a peak at the font size and limited full-color, Chinese-style illustrations in the book. Most of the book is text, and as you can see below, the English font is larger and easier on the eyes compared to the Chinese font.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪 Grace Lin middle grade adventure fantasy fiction novel in Chinese and English
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Amazon | Bookshop)
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪 Grace Lin middle grade adventure fantasy fiction novel in Chinese and English
月夜仙踪

Have you read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪?

If you end up reading this book, let me know what you think in the comments below!

We’d love to hear about your learning experience and if you agree or disagree with our review! What other books do you recommend?

What other chapter books and novels do you recommend?

Please let me know what books you recommend around this reading level! I’d love to learn about your recommendations!

Happy reading, friends!

3 Comments

  1. I loved this book as a kid! I remember the book but I seem to have lost my copy and some other books by Grace Lin. If your daughter likes her work I recommend a few other books by her; When The Sea Turned Silver and Starry River Of The Sky. Chinasprout.com has the Chinese version of theset too. They are, also, great reads!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Aaliyah! 🙂 We have these 2 books but haven’t read them yet – can’t wait to dive into them this summer!

  2. Hello, thank you a lot for sharing this amazing content, it’s always inspiring for me to see <3
    Now that your daughter's English reading ability is better that her Chinese reading ability, I imagine that she would naturally gravitate more towards English novels. How do you plan on helping her to further improve her Chinese reading from now on?
    I've grown up with many mixed race and bilingual families and often the minority language gets more and more neglected when school starts.
    Do you have any tips or methods to prevent that?
    I would love to see Chinese american children being able to read real novels in their native language too (once they are old enough of course) but the 漢字 always seem like a big obstacle to reach native-like reading fluency for children growing up overseas.
    I would love to hear your tips and plans to further encourage your childrens reading development in the future!
    And again, thank you so much for inspiring me and other families living overseas!

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