Angry at his father, young Rendi runs away from home. Not according to plan, he finds himself in a small Chinese village called Village of the Clear Sky. There he reluctantly works as a choreboy for a man whose son has also run away. Rendi notices many peculiar things about this new town he is in. The moon appears to be missing, quite literally, and he is haunted by a moaning sound that no one else seems to hear. At first annoyed with his duties as a choreboy, and most especially annoyed by the innkeeper's daughter, Peiyi, Rendi becomes interested in the odd characters he encounters. Why are the neighbors feuding? What is with the snails? Where did the innkeeper's son go? And where is the moon? When a mysterious woman arrives at the inn, she amuses them with enthralling stories. But it comes with an agreement that for every story she tells, Rendi must tell one in return. Slowly through the magic of storytelling, Rendi begins to learn that he holds within his own story all of the answers he seeks.
Starry River of the Sky—Book Review
The companion book to the award-winning Where The Mountain Meets The Moon, Starry River of the Sky is a mesmerizing story of forgiveness and letting go of one's anger. While quite meaty for a children's book, themes are woven into wonderfully spun tales and folklore. Much of the story is told though actual Chinese fables interspersed between chapters about Rendi's life at the inn. The fables are authentic, and the author writes them in bite-sized engaging chunks, masterfully weaving them into the main story with smooth transitions. Ultimately, of course, it is the wisdom of these tales that bring the answers the characters are searching for. Though the publisher's recommended age is 8-12, this book has a much broader reach. Middle school kids would certainly enjoy it, as would the adults in their lives. The writing is superb, the stories are culturally authentic, and the themes are discussion-worthy, making it a great choice for a middle school or elementary school book club. Even if a younger reader is intimidated by this wholesome read at first glance, they would surely be sucked in if the book were read aloud to them. In fact, this is an excellent choice for a classroom (or home) read aloud. It is not necessary to have read Starry River of the Sky's companion book first, but if you haven't, Where The Mountain Meets The Moon is a little gem that is not to be missed. >Book trailer from YouTube: