An Arrow to the Moon

An Arrow to the Moon cover
An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan

By Emily X.R. Pan
Little, Brown 2022
391 pages

Age 14 and older

A star-crossed story of family, identity, and fate set in 1991 beautifully blends a realistic romance with mesmerizing magical realism. Luna Chen and Hunter Yee were born in the United States to immigrant parents from Taiwan. Luna’s parents can’t stand the Yees, and Hunter’s parents can’t stand the Chens. Naturally Luna and Hunter fall in love, reveling in their burgeoning relationship while grappling with family dramas and inexplicable events. Hunter’s parents have been living in fear since stealing an ancient Chinese artifact when Hunter was a child; he and his little brother, Cody, have paid a heavy price. Luna feels pressure to get into Stanford and make her parents proud, and then she discovers their lies. The world is crumbling literally around the two of them, too, as huge cracks and fissures appear in their town. Hunter, a boy with perfect aim, and Luna, a girl who attracts fireflies day and night despite the cold, bear a burden they don’t understand in this arresting tale that begins by recounting how the girl who was the moon’s “heart and its breath” stood on her tiptoes to look at the boy “who made the stars fly” and fell off the edge. “It shifted the universe off its axis.” Moving back and forth between Luna’s and Hunter’s points of view, the story includes occasional other perspectives, most notably of their four parents, offering insight into the complexities of their histories and adult lives. ©2023 Cooperative Children’s Book Center