From master storyteller An Na comes the Printz Award–winning novel about a Korean girl who tells her firsthand account of trying to find her place and identity in America from the day she leaves Korea as a child to her rocky journey through the teenage years.
At age four, Young Ju moves with her parents from Korea to Southern California. She has always imagined America would be like heaven: easy, blissful, and full of riches. But when her family arrives, she finds it to be the opposite. With a stubborn language barrier and cultural dissimilarities, not only is it impossible to make friends, but even her family's internal bonds are wavering. Her parents' finances are strained, yet her father's stomach is full of booze.
As Young Ju's once solid and reliable family starts tearing apart, her younger brother begins to gain more freedom and respect simply because of his gender. Young Ju begins to lose all hope in the dream she once held—the heaven she longs for. Even as she begins to finally fit in, a cataclysmic family event will change her idea of heaven forever. But it also helps her to recognize the strength she holds, and envision the future she desires, and deserves.
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by An Na
by Kathryn Lasky
by Berta Hader, Elmer Hader
by David A. Adler
by Linda Crew
by Cynthia Voigt
by Katherine Ayres
by Mary Elise Monsell
"In poetic prose, the Korean-born protagonist of this novel recreates scenes of her childhood as an immigrant as she tries to adjust to American ways and remain a good Korean daughter despite her father's alcoholism and abuse. Jina Oh reads with a simplicity that underscores the emotional turmoil and pain of this story, which movingly captures the shame of being poor and different, the terrible powerlessness of youth, and the confusion of living in two cultures. Oh's voice is convincing once the protagonist has reached 10 or 11 years of age. She fails to convey the voice of the 4-year-old, which makes the early chapters somewhat confusing. Overall, Na's writing and Oh's narration sensitively capture the emotional life of a girl growing into maturity and coming to terms with her past. E.S. 2003 YALSA Selection (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine"
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