BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Good-bye, 382 Shin Dang Dong by Frances and Ginger Park, illustrated by Yangsook Choi [in AsianWeek]

Goody-bye, 382 Shin Dang DongWhat child wouldn’t worry about moving away from all that is familiar? Make that a move to another country on the other side of the world, and you’ve got the conundrum 8-year-old Jangmi faces in Good-bye, 382 Shin Dang Dong, written by sisters Frances and Ginger Park, and poignantly illustrated by Yangsook Choi.

Good-bye is based on the real-life experiences of the authors’ oldest sister, who was reluctantly uprooted from her native Korea to the Boston suburb of Brighton, Mass., in 1954. “My heart beats in two places,” Jangmi begins. “Here, where I live,” referring to her life in her adopted country, “and also in a place where I once lived. You see, I was born in Korea.”

Life at 382 Shin Dang Dong means wet clay-tiled roofs during the summer monsoon season, an outdoor market filled with the sweetest chummy (Korean melons), an extensive family, and a best friend named Kisuni. A long airplane ride away awaits 112 Foster Terrace, a row house with a shingled roof and not a single familiar face. But soon enough, neighbors arrive with welcoming wishes and warm food, and even a new friend.

To the Parks’ lyrical memories, Choi brings to life the longing for the familiar, the sadness of leaving, and the hope of finding a new life in a new land.

Review: “A New Life a World Away,” AsianWeek, July 18, 2002

Tidbit: The sisters, Frances and Ginger Park, together with Yangook Choi were all fabulous guests for the Smithsonian’s Korean American Centennial Commemoration‘s fall program, “Children’s Books,” on September 13, 2003.

Readers: Children

Published: 2002


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