OUTRUN THE MOON by Stacey Lee
Kirkus Star

OUTRUN THE MOON

Age Range: 12 - 17
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Leading up to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, ambitious Mercy Wong talks her way out of Chinatown and into an elite boarding school.

Fifteen-year-old Mercy wants more than what's expected of her as the daughter of a Chinatown launderer and his fortuneteller wife in turn-of-the-20th-century San Francisco. Ambitious due to her "bossy cheeks"—her high cheekbones symbolizing an assertive, independent nature—she boldly bribes her way to a scholarship at the tony St. Clare's School for Girls, where she hopes the prestigious education will land her not a prosperous proposal (she's happily matched to handsome and supportive Tom, the herbalist's son), but a life out of what the non-Chinese derisively call Pigtail Alley. Mostly, she hopes to save her sickly little brother, Jack, from a life of menial labor. At St. Clare's, Mercy must pose as a Chinese heiress. She makes an eclectic group of new friends, such as Italian-American Francesca, who Mercy realizes is at the bottom of the white pecking order, and tries to avoid the hawk-eyed headmistress. When the earthquake hits, plucky Mercy's quick-witted leadership rallies survivors in the tragedy's aftermath. Full of beautiful turns of phrase, lessons in Chinese customs and superstitions, and a refreshing protagonist representing intersectional diversity, this is a must-read for followers of historical fiction.

Propelled by a feisty and fabulous heroine, Lee's sophomore novel is powerful, evocative, and thought-provoking. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 12-17)

Pub Date: May 24th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-399-17541-1
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2016




MORE BY STACEY LEE

ChildrenTHE SECRET OF A HEART NOTE by Stacey Lee
by Stacey Lee
ChildrenUNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee
by Stacey Lee

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenOUT OF DARKNESS by Ashley Hope Pérez
by Ashley Hope Pérez
ChildrenBUBONIC PANIC by Gail Jarrow
by Gail Jarrow
ChildrenTHE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH by Martha Brockenbrough
by Martha Brockenbrough