This Is Our House

Hyewon Yum, Author
Hyewon Yum. FSG/Foster, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-37487-7
Reviewed on: 05/27/2013
Release date: 07/30/2013
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A small girl with twin braids narrates her family’s history with pride, starting with when her grandparents arrived at a brick rowhouse on a leafy street, coming from “far away with just two suitcases in hand.” Since then, three generations have marked the seasons and personal milestones outside the house’s front door (“This is the street where I learned to walk, just like my mom,” says the girl), found snug shelter within its walls (“This is the room where they all slept together on cold winter nights”), and consumed homemade soup in its kitchen. Told in sunny, openhearted watercolor vignettes and snapshotlike framed images, Yum’s (Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten!) story of how a house became a longtime home may feel exotic to readers whose own family histories are comparatively transient. But its essence will ring true, regardless: we’re connected not just by genes and bloodlines, but also by the places we share. An inviting personal history that would pair well with Jacqueline Woodson’s similarly themed This Is the Rope, also out this summer. Ages 3–8. Agent: Sean McCarthy, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. (Aug.)
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