Patron Picks: Outrun the Moon
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
A 15 year-old girl from Chinatown has her life turned upside down by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Mercy Wong has just manipulated her way into a prestigious school for young ladies. She has left her family, home and culture, and is trying hard to adjust when the earth trembles destroying homes and businesses and starting widespread fires.
The students and their headmistress flee to Golden Gate Park, the designated meeting place. Here, Mercy discovers her mother and brother perished in the fire and her father is missing. The girls learn to work together to feed themselves and share their meager food supplies and goodwill with other survivors. You watch them deal with their grief and losses and reach within to find skills and resiliency they hadn’t had to use before.
Ms. Lee develops the story well with detailed descriptions. You feel like you’ve met her characters. You share their struggles and cheer their successes. You are in the city passing by familiar landmarks. You feel the quake and hear the buildings crumbling and trees crashing. You smell the smoke in the air and listen to the continuous fire sirens as you sit by your tent in the park.
This is an uplifting account of a great tragedy. It portrays the good people can do if they believe in themselves and encourage others to do the same.
Recommended by Arlene Russell-Friends of the Library Member