Year of Impossible Goodbyes

Sook Nyul Choi, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-395-57419-5
In 1945, 10-year-old Sookan's homeland of North Korea is occupied by the Japanese. Left behind while her resistance-fighter father hides in Manchuria and her older brothers toil in Japanese labor camps, Sookan and her remaining family members run a sock factory for the war effort, bolstered only by the dream that the fighting will soon cease. Sookan watches her people--forced to renounce their native ways--become increasingly angry and humiliated. When war's end brings only a new type of domination--from the Russian communists--Sookan and her younger brother must make a harrowing escape across the 38th parallel after their mother has been detained at a Russian checkpoint. Drawn partly from Choi's own experiences, her debut novel is a sensitive and honest portrayal of amazing courage. In clear, graceful prose, she describes a sad period of history that is astonishing in its horror and heart-wrenching in its truth. Readers cannot fail to be uplifted by this account of the triumph of the human spirit in an unjust world. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/16/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7807-2017-6
Prebound-Glued - 176 pages - 978-0-8335-9794-6
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-0-440-40759-1
Prebound-Other - 169 pages - 978-0-606-03001-4
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-0-547-34874-2
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