Mid-Autumn and Mooncakes

Book covers of an arrow to the sun and daughter of the moon goddess. Descriptions are on the covers within the post.

With the Mid-Autumn Festival coming up at the end of September, mooncakes have been on my mind. Several conversations have revolved around the festival and food in my real life and on social media so I started wondering if there were YA books for that. And yes indeed, here are a few books featuring the moon or mooncakes that I’ve read or have on my TBR.

Retellings Related to the Moon

A golden arrow is flying straight up at a very bright yellow moon. It seems to be pushing through the air as if going through waves in water.An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan
Little, Brown Books For Young Readers

Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school.

Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge.

As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart. All they can depend on is their love… but time is running out, and fate will have its way.

Book cover that has the sky as a background. Young woman with very long hair is facing the moon and colorful clouds. She is holding a large bow and there are ribbons floating around her long flowy dress. There are flowers and other plant designs at the edges of the cover and some birds flying in the sky.Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
Harper Voyager

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.

A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm. Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.

Two young people are centered. The one on the left is wearing a pointy hat and an apron and has long wavy hair. This person also has an oven mitt on and is holding a steaming tray of baked goods. The other is slightly taller with cat ears and shoulder length hair. They are licking a spoon and holding a bowl. It seems they also have a tail. The title is in a font, but for the letter o instead there are mooncakes.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
Oni Press [Jessica’s Review]

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

There are two young people standing in the twilight letting a lantern go up into the sky with many, many others that have already been released. There is a skyscape of buildings in the background.When You Wish Upon a Lantern by Gloria Chao

Liya and Kai had been best friends since they were little kids, but all that changed when a humiliating incident sparked The Biggest Misunderstanding Of All Time—and they haven’t spoken since.

Then Liya discovers her family’s wishing lantern store is struggling, and she decides to resume a tradition she had with her beloved late grandmother: secretly fulfilling the wishes people write on the lanterns they send into the sky. It may boost sales and save the store, but she can’t do it alone . . . and Kai is the only one who cares enough to help.

While working on their covert missions, Liya and Kai rekindle their friendship—and maybe more. But when their feuding families and their changing futures threaten to tear them apart again, can they find a way to make their own wishes come true?

The cover features a sea-foam green wall with the titles in a slightly darker green in cursive font that adds a heart. A young man in a t-shirt and apron is behind a counter with a plate of sea green cakes next to him. He is staring at another young man who is on a stool in front of the counter holding a cake. There is a corgi on the floor at his feet.Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee

Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.

Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips. AKA a distraction. Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up. He even convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.

In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be just pretend . . . but Dylan finds himself falling for Theo. For real. Then Theo’s relatives reveal their true colors—but with the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by rich-people problems.

Can Dylan save his family’s business and follow his heart—or will he fail to do both?