Cynthia Frazier


Juvenile Fiction, Adventure, Fairytale, Dragons, China, Family, Magic, Primary, Outstanding

Document Type

Book Review


Minli lives with her mother and father, Ma and Ba, in the shadow of the Fruitless Mountain, a desolate place where they eke out a living by working in muddy rice paddies from dawn until dark. The only bright spot of Minli’s day is hearing one of Ba’s stories before she goes to bed each night. The stories fill her heart with wonder and hope, so she decides to find the Old Man of the Moon, a character in one of Ba’s stories who lives far away in the Never Ending Mountain, to ask for help for a better life for her family. Minli meets talking fish, a dragon that cannot fly, a buffalo herder, a King, and brave twins who trick a wicked green tiger on her journey. She is given gifts, offered advice, and has experiences that help her on her quest. Meanwhile Ma and Ba also take a journey, trying to find their missing daughter. Both journeys end with an understanding of the true meaning of wealth and happiness.