A Step from Heaven

This is the story of a Korean family that immigrates to California in search of a better life, only to find that the American Dream is harder to achieve than they thought. The tale is told through the eyes of Young Ju, as she grows from preschooler to young woman.
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Internet Resources

Author Bio: An Na
A brief biography of author An Na.

Interview with An Na
An in-depth interview conducted with An Na for the Cynthia Leitich Smith Children's Literature Resources site.

Gateway to Korea
At this site, students can probably find the answer to any question about Korea they can devise. Includes a comprehensive section on Korean arts and culture.

Books for Asian-American History Month

Chasing Hepburn: A Memoir of Shanghai, Hollywood, and a Chinese Family's Fight for Freedom, by Gus Lee
Recommended Ages: 15-Adult
This is the story of the Lee family — a saga spanning four generations, two continents, and a century and a half of Chinese history. In the masterful hands of author Gus Lee, his ancestors’ stories spring vividly to life in a memoir with all the richness of great fiction.

China Boy, by Gus Lee
Recommended Ages: 15-Adult
Although he is from an aristocratic Chinese family, Kai Ting becomes street smart to survive in America. Uncle Shim, a teacher and Mandarin Scholar, wants to teach Kai classical learning of Chinese, but Kai has instructors who want to teach him boxing.

Finding My Voice, by Marie G. Lee
Recommended Ages: 11-18
Growing up in a small Minnesota town, Ellen feels pressures from all sides. From her Korean parents, there is pressure to go to Harvard. From her classmates and some teachers, there is pressure caused by simmering racism.

The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
Recommended Ages: 15-Adult
This award-winning book presents the stories of eight Chinese women. Four are mothers, all of whom experienced hardships that forced them to leave China. Four are their daughters, who all face personal struggles in everyday living.

Shizuko's Daughter, by Kyoko Mori
Recommended Ages: 15-Adult
Yuki Okuda knows her mother would be proud of her grades and her achievements in sports if she were alive. But she committed suicide. Like her mother, Yuki is talented and resilient. But she is struggling with a restrictive society and a miserable life at home with her father and stepmother. A beautifully written, ALA award book about a painful coming of age.

Year of the Impossible Goodbyes, by Sook Nyul Choi
Recommended Ages: 15-Adult
A moving fictionalized account of Choi's last months as a child in Pyongyang under the brutal Japanese rule that oppressed Korea for more than 30 years before 1945, and her harrowing escape with her seven-year-old brother south across the 38th parallel.

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