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by Joan Schoettler

illustrated by Jessica Lanan


School Library Journal:

Gr 2–4— Ji-su, a girl in 18th-century Korea, is devastated when her mother is selected to sew for the king. It is an honor for the family, but it means a life apart, and Eomma has no choice in the matter. Ji-su is determined to learn to sew bojagi-wrapping cloths-as skillfully as her mother so that she will also work at the palace. Descriptive language and stunning watercolor paintings show the seasons passing as Ji-su works toward her goal. With a masterful eye for color and skillful use of perspective, Lanan brings the text to life and adds depth to Ji-su’s emotions. When Ji-su presents her bojagi to the sewing master, the low perspective makes the men seem to tower over her, and readers feel her trepidation and the importance of the moment. Densely packed with Korean customs and vocabulary, the writing is nuanced and evocative: “Eomma and Ji-su held each other like threads in a seam.” There is a glossary, but without some familiarity with Korean culture, it is difficult to infer the meaning of some words. Although the complexity of this book may limit its appeal for general audiences, Good Fortune is a treasure for libraries serving Korean populations.—Anna Haase Krueger, Antigo Public Library, WI –Anna Haase Krueger (Reviewed November 1, 2011) (School Library Journal, vol 57, issue 11, p94)


  • Asian Pacific American Award for Literature: Picture Book


2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Ages 9-12, Art, Family