A Step From Heaven

A Step From Heaven     By An Na

Asheville      Front Street   2001      156p.


TAG:  Michael L. Printz Award 2002, Realistic Fiction


This is the story of Young Ju, a young Korean child, whose parents immigrate to America in search of a better life.  Young Ju’s parents discover that life is really hard when you have no real job skills, don’t speak the language, and are trying to support your family of three. All this takes quite a toll on Young’s family.  Author An Na starts off this book mixing a lot of Korean words with English which, although it sets the tone for the book it makes it hard to follow the story.  The story is filled with a lot of unfortunate twists and turns and left me feeling empty.  I appreciate the strong character that Na built but Young never uses this inherent strength to confront the abuse she faced from her own family.  Perhaps this stoic approach to the abuse was to be viewed as more than just a cultural trait.  In 156 pages Na takes her character from four years old to a young adult yet I felt the pace was slow and laborious.  Speaking is done without quotation marks which sometimes slowed the pace as well.  Teens may struggle getting into this story but the abuse may hold their interest.  The cover art is intriguing as a young child is peering out from behind, a curtain a teen may wonder if she is hiding or looking for something.


Quality 3Q     Popularity   3P   Grades JS


Website:  http://www.anwriting.com/




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