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by Frances Park

illustrated by Debra Reid Jenkins

Summary

Kirkus:

The phenomenal but often unnoticed heroism of many recent immigrants’ journeys to freedom is recorded in this remarkable tale of a young Korean girl’s escape. After Korea has been divided in half, many of the families in the north escape to South Korea. In Soo’s school, many of her classmates have already disappeared. Finally one night, Soo’s father goes too, with a promise to come back for his daughter and wife. When many nights of waiting and wondering have passed, it’s finally time for Soo to go; after a long train ride and a hike through the forest, only a river lies between Soo and her father. But that’s also where a North Korean guard finds Soo and her guide. Though Soo makes it to freedom, war breaks out before her mother is able to leave and the family is never reunited. The illustrations are impressionistic and warm, reflecting Soo’s dangerous trip and the once-bright security of her family. Despite the devastating ending, this touching tale of quiet bravery has universal appeal. (Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 1998)

Awards:

  • International Reading Association Children’s Book Award: Younger Readers (winners prior to 2002)

Topics

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Ages 0-8, Family, Historical Fiction, Immigration, Kindergarten