Friday, January 22, 2016

Outrun the Moon

Outrun the Moon

Stacey Lee

Publication date May 24, 2016

I have often wondered if we should remove the historical fiction section in our teen department and instead shelve these books with fiction. I love YA historical fiction but I find that many of our teen patrons pass by this genre on their way to the fantasy or sci-fi shelves. One exception is Stacey Lee's book, Under a Painted Sky. It's shelved in historical fiction and it has circulated really well. 

I recently emailed the author and she was gracious enough to send me an advance reader's copy of her next book, Outrun the Moon.

Here is a description of the book from the Penguin Random House:
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?

I enjoyed this book. Once again Stacey Lee has created a strong (you could even say headstrong) female character. Mercy Wong is smart, funny, business-savvy, and compassionate. Outrun the Moon made me laugh, cry, and cheer. I can't wait to share this book with my teen patrons, especially the younger teen girls who tell me that they are looking for exciting books with a little romance and a female protagonist.

Outrun the Moon would be a good selection for a book discussion. Topics that can be discussed include the treatment of and attitude toward immigrants, then and now.

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