Outrun the Moon

400p. ebook available. Putnam. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399175411.
Gr 7 Up—Mercy is ambitious: she wants to own her own tea importing business, but the options for a young Chinese American girl in San Francisco in 1906 are severely limited. Mercy uses her cunning and business sense to bribe her way into St. Clare's, an elite school for girls. Not long after her arrival, the teen finds out that she will be learning comportment, not business. Mercy's disappointment compounds with a hostile roommate, skeptical classmates, and her end of the bribe she must uphold to stay enrolled. Everyone seems to be hiding secrets, and the 1906 earthquake is coming. Will Mercy be able to outrun and outwit her fate as a laundryman's daughter? Lee creates characters full of depth and nuance that seem historically accurate but still relatable to today's teens. Mercy is a strong protagonist full of determination and adventure who moves the story and will compel readers. Her drive to succeed; her love of her brother, Jack; and her goodness will endear her to readers.
VERDICT A diverse, engaging historical fiction that should not be missed.

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