Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Step From Heaven

Na, An. (2001). A Step From Heaven. New York: Penguin Group.

Image credit: Powells

A five year-old Korean girl suddenly finds herself adjusting to a new life in America where not everything is what she imagined.


"What are you singing, Uhmma?"
"What is that?"
"Mi Gook."
"This is a magic word."

Since moving to Mi Gook, America, from Korea, Young Ju Park is confused, disappointed, and unimpressed. Her parents swear that she will have more opportunities in America, but they have contradicting desires for Young Ju. One day Young Ju's mother forces her to curl her hair so she will "look just like a real Mi Gook girl." The next day she is scolded for speaking English at home. Torn between two cultures, Young Ju adjusts to life in America while enduring painful abuse from her alcoholic father. Join Young Ju on her journey to Mi Gook where she will finally decide if America is truly just A Step From Heaven.

  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2002
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2002
  • Children's Book Award in YA Fiction – International Reading Association, 2002
  • Michael L. Printz Award, 2002
  • National Book Award Finalist, 2001

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