“Starry River of the Sky” by Grace Lin is an amazing book. There are plenty of interesting Chinese stories and loving characters that you sympathize for. The story begins with a boy named Rendi arriving in the village of Clear Sky in a merchant’s dusty cart. Oddly, his only possessions are a cloth bag and beautiful porcelain rice bowl. However, when the merchant is giving a gang of wine to an innkeeper in the village, Rendi is discovered and thrown out of the cart. The innkeeper sees this and asks if Rendi wants a job, to help with chores around the inn. Rendi sees no other choice but to accept and helps him push the gang of wine inside the inn. After that, he meets the innkeeper (Master Chao’s) daughter, Peiyi. He arrives in a time where adults have to drink wine and little kids have to paint the 王 symbol on their heads to protect them from the Noxious Animals, because it is the Day of Five Poisons. Peiyi shows him around the inn and tells him about the Stone Pancake, which is a huge stone field stretching out into the horizon, seeming to never end. Peiyi tells him it is there because her ancestor moved a mountain that was once on the Stone Pancake. Rendi scoffs and tells her that is impossible. They dislike each other strongly. Later in the story we discover three more characters, under the name of Madame Chang, Mr. Shan, and the toad. We also find out more about Rendi’s backstory, and why the stone pancake ACTUALLY means, along with heart wrenching plot twists that will tear your heart. You will gasp along with the characters, shout with them, cry with them, laugh with them. I loved this book and I hope you did too.