Outrun the Moon
Author: Stacey Lee
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Released: May 24 2016
Review Source: G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.
On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?
Outrun the Moon about a girl whom wants to make a life for herself with an education fit for a male. Mercy wants to prove to everyone that she can do what she puts her mind to - even the man she's set to marry. To do that she must go to St. Clare's School for Girls, meaning she has to leave behind her friends and family for the duration of her schooling. While there an earthquake strikes that destroys Mercy's home and school, so now she must find a way to help those whom are suffering.
This book was an inspiring one. While reading it I couldn't help but think "I want to be like Mercy someday", because I want to be the kind of girl who will go to any lengths to go after her dream, and then to restore her world. While I do not wish a natural disaster on us I do hope to fight for my dreams, which I believe will change the world around me.
Mercy was a strong character - and I also loved that she was proud to be Chinese. Back in 1906 it wasn't easy being Chinese. The book conveys how they were hated, and how they were treated and segregated. Yet Mercy fights to be treated as an equal. We need more books like Outrun the Moon, more diverse and inspiring. There is nothing wrong of dreaming, as long as we reach for it like Mercy. She knows what she wants and she fights for it. She's such a badass character and we should all be like her!
Stacey Lee is a fourth generation Chinese-American whose people came to California during the heydays of the cowboys. She believes she still has a bit of cowboy dust in her soul. A native of southern California, she graduated from UCLA then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. After practicing law in the Silicon Valley for several years, she finally took up the pen because she wanted the perks of being able to nap during the day, and it was easier than moving to Spain. She plays classical piano, raises children, and writes YA fiction.
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