An Na A Step from Heaven

ISBN 13: 9780756914059

A Step from Heaven

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9780756914059: A Step from Heaven

When four-year-old Young Ju Park first hears the words Mi Gook -- Korean for "America" -- she is sure that they mean "Heaven." But when her family moves to Southern California the following year, she finds the transition from life in Korea far from easy. The countless unexpected challenges -- from learning English, to finding work, to attending school -- put more and more pressure on the Park family until its fragile construction begins to splinter. Yet as Young Ju grows from child to adolescent in her new home she finds a surprising new voice -- neither Korean nor American, but uniquely her own. That voice allows her to make sense of her world, and gives her the strength to succeed. A Step from Heaven is the stunning debut of an equally unique writer.

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From the Inside Flap:

Read by Jina Oh
Approx. 3 hrs. 30 mins.
3 cassettes

2001 National Book Award Nominee

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. Trying 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.

Jina Oh's film and TV credits include Sex and the City, As the World Turns and Woody Allen's Celebrity. She has appeared in regional theater productions of Macbeth, Measure for Measure, and Icarus & Aria.

About the Author:

An, Na was born in Korea and grew up in San Diego, California. She is a graduate of Amherst College and received her MFA in Writing Children's Literature from Vermont College. A former middle school English and history teacher, she now writes full time. She lives in Kensington, CA. A Step From Heaven is her first novel.

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