A Step from Heaven: Book summary and reviews of A Step from Heaven by An Na

A Step from Heaven

by An Na

A Step from Heaven by An Na X
A Step from Heaven by An Na
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About this book

Book Summary

From master storyteller An Na comes the Printz Award–winning novel about a Korean girl who tells her firsthand account of trying to find her place and identity in America from the day she leaves Korea as a child to her rocky journey through the teenage years.

At age four, Young Ju moves with her parents from Korea to Southern California. She has always imagined America would be like heaven: easy, blissful, and full of riches. But when her family arrives, she finds it to be the opposite. With a stubborn language barrier and cultural dissimilarities, not only is it impossible to make friends, but even her family's internal bonds are wavering. Her parents' finances are strained, yet her father's stomach is full of booze.

As Young Ju's once solid and reliable family starts tearing apart, her younger brother begins to gain more freedom and respect simply because of his gender. Young Ju begins to lose all hope in the dream she once held—the heaven she longs for. Even as she begins to finally fit in, a cataclysmic family event will change her idea of heaven forever. But it also helps her to recognize the strength she holds, and envision the future she desires, and deserves.

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Book Awards

  • award image Michael Printz Award, 2002

Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] mesmerizing first novel... readers can see a strong, admirable young woman with a future full of hope. Equally bright are the prospects of this author; readers will eagerly await her next step." - Publishers Weekly

This information about A Step from Heaven was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

An Na Author Biography

An Na was born in South Korea and grew up in San Diego, California. As a young person, she never imagined that she would grow up to be a writer. First, she thought she was supposed to be a doctor, but then after realizing how many years of schooling it would take, she moved her sights to being a pharmacist. In college, after taking political science and chemistry, being a lawyer started looking really good. It was only during her senior year in college, when she took a children's literature class, did she discover her true love of writing. Having always been an avid reader, it had never dawned on her until that class that real people wrote books. Ding!

Na left college with a clear goal to write and publish picture books. In the meantime, to keep her parents off her back, she worked...

... Full Biography
Link to An Na's Website

Other books by An Na at BookBrowse
  • The Place Between Breaths jacket
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