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Search - A Step from Heaven (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Winner (Awards))
A Step from Heaven - Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Winner Awards Author:An Na When she is five, Young Ju Park and her family move from Korea to California. During the flight, they climb so far into the sky she concludes they are on their way to Heaven, that Heaven must be in America. Heaven is also where her grandfather is. When she learns the distinction, she is so disappointed she wants to go home to her grandmother. Tr... more »ying to console his niece, Uncle Tim suggests that maybe America can be "a step from Heaven." Life in America, however, presents problems for Young Ju's family. Her father becomes depressed, angry, and violent. Jobs are scarce and money is even scarcer. When her brother is born, Young Ju experiences firsthand her father's sexism as he confers favored status upon the boy who will continue to carry the Park name. In a wrenching climactic scene, her father beats her mother so severely that Young Ju calls the police. Soon afterward, her father goes away and the family begins to heal.« less
Lenka S. reviewed A Step from Heaven (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Winner (Awards)) on + 634 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Oh's appropriately girlish voice and measured reading bring to life Young Ju, quiet heroine of debut novelist Na's dark tale of a family of Korean immigrants, which just won the ALA's Printz Award for teenage literature. At age four, Young Ju is not happy to be leaving her Korean home and loving Halmoni (grandmother) to move with her parents to Mi Gook (America), believed to be the land of great promise. Through Young Ju's experiences, listeners hear the family unravel as difficulties mount for them in the States. Young Ju's parents struggle with several low-paying jobs, handicapped by their language barrier. Young Ju's alcoholic and bitter father abuses his wife and children and forbids Young Ju to socialize with American friends. And when her father crosses a frightening line in his cruelty, Young Ju bravely takes action that sets her mother, younger brother and herself on the path to yet another new life in America. Oh's characterization, which realistically captures this powerful contemporary story and gives authentic crispness to Korean words and phrases, will keep you in its grip.
Excellent story of a young girl's memory of her trip to America. She has many struggles along the way and throughout her childhood. However, the story leaves you filled with hope and even goes on to tell you what her life becomes as she grows into a young woman!