Wednesday, October 2, 2013

MMGM: Starry River Of The Sky by Grace LIn

Published: October 2nd 2012
Genre: Juvenile fiction, fairy tales and folk tales
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Themes: Chinese folklore, mystery,  

About The Book: The moon is missing from the remote Village of Clear Sky, but only a young boy named Rendi seems to notice! Rendi has run away from home and is now working as a chore boy at the village inn. He can't help but notice the village's peculiar inhabitants and their problems-where has the innkeeper's son gone? Why are Master Chao and Widow Yan always arguing? What is the crying sound Rendi keeps hearing? And how can crazy, old Mr. Shan not know if his pet is a toad or a rabbit?
      But one day, a mysterious lady arrives at the Inn with the gift of storytelling, and slowly transforms the villagers and Rendi himself. As she tells more stories and the days pass in the Village of Clear Sky, Rendi begins to realize that perhaps it is his own story that holds the answers to all those questions.

First Line: Rendi was not sure how long the moon had been missing.

What Others Are Saying: "The stories the characters tell are based on traditional Chinese folktales, but Lin adds her own elements and layers and mixes them with original tales to form a larger narrative that provides the background and the answers for the frame story. This tight and cyclical plotting, combined with Lin's vibrant, full-color paintings and chapter decorations, creates a work that is nothing short of enchanting. Like the restored moon, Starry River outshines the previous work." — School Library Journal

"Lin’s writing is clear and lyrical, her plotting complex, and 
her illustrations magical, all of which make this a book to be
savored." —Booklist

Bloggers Weigh In:
Charlottes Library —includes an awesome interview with Lin.
WeninChina — interesting blog specializing in East Asian travel.
Librarian of Snark —blogging for awhile, if you haven't yet, check her out!
What I Thought: This is another out of the park literary masterpiece by Grace Lin. Her lyrical prose and layered plot is incredible. I love how everything weaves together. Each folktale gives a clue to the mystery of the missing moon. See my review of Where The Mountain Meets The Moon the companion book to this one. 

About The Author: Grace Lin

Who: Grace Lin grew up in Upstate New York with her parents and two sisters. While the other sisters became scientists, Grace became an artist. Surprisingly enough, being an artist was not Grace's first choice. She first dreamed of being a champion ice skater, and drew many pictures of herself twirling and dancing on the ice. Unfortunately, Grace had neither the talent nor coordination to make it to skating stardom. However, the pictures she drew of herself held much promise and quickly became Grace's career focus.

After attending the Rhode Island School of Design, Grace quickly set out to achieve her dream of creating children's books. Her first book, THE UGLY VEGETABLES, was published in 1999 and was quickly heralded. As well as being an American Booksellers Association's "Pick of the List" and a Bank's Street College Best Books of the Year, THE UGLY VEGETABLES was nominated for the California Young Reader Children's Choice Award and named a Growing Good Kids Book Award CLASSIC.

Grace followed that success with the publication of over a dozen more books, including DIM SUM FOR EVERYONE! and LISSY'S FRIENDS. Grace's first children's novel, THE YEAR OF THE DOG was released to glowing praise in 2006 and nominated to the TX Bluebonnet list, which she followed with THE YEAR OF THE RAT. Her most recent novel WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON was awarded the 2010 Newbery Honor, chosen for Al Roker's Today Show Kid's Book Club and was a NY Times Bestseller. Grace's early reader LING & TING was awarded with the Theodor Geisel Honor in 2011. Grace, herself, has been honored by the Boston Public Library with the Literary Lights for Children Award and was an Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee for the United States.

Grace lives in Somerville, MA with her husband, Alex.

Want to learn more about Grace Lin? Check out these links:
Bonnie's Books shares illustrations and excerpts.
Wagging Tales has a fascinating interview where Lin talks about her inspiration.
Paper Tigers shares more on Grace and her other books.
Seven Impossible Things to do Before Breakfast asks Lin about Minli as a character.
Story Sleuths offers a writerly analysis.

As always, be sure to stop by the other great Marvelous Middle Grade Monday Reviewers listed in my sidebar!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great. I haven't read a Grace Lin book in a while.


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