In Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin, stories and storytelling have power. Within the book several characters become storytellers and share myth-inspired tales. Not only do these tales contain wisdom, they give us a glimpse into the storyteller.
Rendi, the main character, has problems. He’s run away from home and ends up in a strange land that is missing the moon. He is without friends or shelter until an inn keeper agrees to take Rendi in as a chore boy. Everything changes when a mysterious visitor begins sharing stories and asks Rendi to be the next storyteller. Rendi nervously shares a story of dancing fish that impresses his listeners and fledgling friendships are formed with his new hosts. With the help of stories and storytelling, Rendi begins to find solutions not only for his problems, but for the town as well.
Grace Lin was inspired by classic Chinese folktales when she wrote Starry River of the Sky. She has altered these stories to fit her tale, but hopes that her readers become curious about the original stories and will seek them out. Here are a couple of the books that inspired Lin that can be found at the library!
Tales of a Chinese Grandmother by Frances Carpenter
The Chʻi-lin Purs : A Collection of Ancient Chinese Stories retold by Linda Fang