(Note: This title will be published October 2, 2012, and is not yet in the KCLS catalog.)
Rendi is a boy with secrets. Who is he? Why is he on the run? Why is he so angry all the time? And, strangest of all, why can he hear sad moans at night when others cannot? Maybe it's because the moon has gone missing from the sky...
We first meet Rendi as a stowaway on a merchant's cart traveling through ancient China. He gets caught and is forced to take a job as a chore boy at an inn in the tiny Village of Clear Sky. While working at the inn, Rendi tries to keep his own past a secret while working out the mystery of the missing moon and the unidentified cries in the night.
Grace Lin weaves clever folktales full of clues into her story, making the reader feel like a detective trying to put all the pieces together. There are important lessons to be learned here about forgiveness, anger, and compromise, but the story is told with such beauty and excitement that you never feel like you're being taught.
I loved Lin's Newbery Honor-winning Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, so I went into Starry River of the Sky with high expectations. Good news! It did not disappoint. It's the same world and style as When the Mountain Meets the Moon, but the story and (most of) the characters will be totally new to readers. This is a companion book that will make fans want to re-read the original (and then read Starry River of the Sky again!).
Rating: 5 out of 5