DESCRIPTION: Yoon whose name means shining wisdom struggles to find her place in a new country when all she wants is to return to her own.
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Yoon touched my heart from page one because she took me back to a very special child in my teaching career whose name was Jeong-Hui. She too was Korean and new to America. Her mother brought this beautiful, shy child to my class and asked as any good parent would that I take care of her daughter and see that she did her best. I wondered how an African American teacher who spoke no Korean could be of any help to this precious child who spoke no English. Jeong-Hui became a steadfast fixture at my desk as she sought answers to the many questions one has in a new and strange land. She inspired me by her determination and so we began our learning journey. A very special thing happened over time in that like Yoon, Jeong-Hui watched, listened and absorbed everything she could day by day to make sense of a new school and culture. By year’s end she was more at ease and as hungry to learn as any student could be. She gave me a beautiful Korean doll which I still have in my collection some 30 years later. I wonder where Jeong-Hui is now and I hope that the shining wisdom inside her is sparkling somewhere brightly to this day and lighting the way for others as she did for me. (Kudos to Recorvits and Swiatkowski for a stunning collaboration on this very special book!)