October 13, 2017 by TinyNavajo
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
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This is one of the best books I’ve read for my YA class this semester. It was such an interesting and wonderful take on the earthquake that hit San Fransisco in 1906, and how that impacted the lives of those who were not white in that time.
Mercy Wong lives in Chinatown in San Fransisco, and she is determined to get her and her family out of the poverty that runs rampant in Chinatown. And the way she believes to do that is to get herself in the St. Clare’s School for Girls, where she can get a higher education in what she hopes will be business education. Nope, not what she signed up for, she learns about etiquette, how to properly drink and serve tea, embroidery, and a bunch of other hooey. As she continues to work through the school that she did not sign up, going up against spoiled heiress girls, she learns that this is not all that life has in store for her.
A huge earthquake hits San Fransisco, and Mercy’s life is thrown into chaos. The school is destroyed, the fate of her family is unknown, and Mercy is stuck with those she goes to school with. As those that were able to make their way out of the school try to figure out what to do, Mercy decides that she can’t just sit around and do nothing. She gathers what she can, both from the skills of the girls, as well as from the surrounding stores that have been deserted to make food for everyone around who has nothing.
Mercy learns that she doesn’t need a fancy education to make a difference in the world. She can be both from Chinatown and San Fransisco. She can elevate her life if she puts herself to the wheel and doesn’t listen to what anyone else would and could say about her.
I loved this book for the sheer fact that Mercy is a strong girl who still cares about her family. What she does in this book is for her family, even though it may go against what her family believes should be done. And Mercy loves her family, she loves her younger brother, her mother, her father. She loves all of them and she does what she can to help them.
Have you ever read a book that showed you that nothing can hold you back? What was it and what did it push you to do? Comment below and let me know!