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Linda Sue Park

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Linda Sue Park is the author of A Single Shard, which was awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal by the American Library Association in 2002, for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. She has written several other books for young people, including the Jane Addams Peace Prize honor book, When My Name WasKeoko, and the Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literature award title, Project Mulberry.

Her most recent books are TapDancing on the Roof, a collection of poetry, and Click, a collaborative novel. In spring 2008, her newest novel,Keeping Score, will be published.

The daughter of immigrant parents, Ms. Park draws on her Korean ancestry for much of her work. A childhood love of the public library has led her to consider herself a reader first and a writer second. She lives with her family in western New York.

Keeping Score
Clarion, 2008
ages 9 to 12, ISBN 978-0618927999

Both Maggie Fortini and her brother, Joey-Mick, were named for baseball great Joe DiMaggio. Unlike Joey-Mick, Maggie doesn't play baseball—but at almost ten years old, she is a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Maggie can recite all the players' statistics and understands the subtleties of the game. Unfortunately, Jim Maine is a Giants fan, but it's Jim who teaches Maggie the fine art of scoring a baseball game. Not only can she revisit every play of every inning, but by keeping score she feels she's more than just a fan: she's helping her team.

Jim is drafted into the army and sent to Korea, and although Maggie writes to him often, his silence is just one of a string of disappointments—being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the early 1950s meant season after season of near misses and year after year of dashed hopes. But Maggie goes on trying to help the Dodgers, and when she finds out that Jim needs help, too, she's determined to provide it. Against a background of major league baseball and the Korean War on the home front, Maggie looks for, and finds, a way to make a difference.

Keeping Score

Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo
illustrated by Istvan Banyai
Clarion, 2007
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-618-23483-7

From Newbery medalist Linda Sue Park comes a unique poetry collection with Korean roots. A "sijo," a traditional Korean verse form, has a fixed number of stressed syllables and a humorous or ironic twist at the end. Like haiku, sijo are brief and accessible, and the witty last line winds up each poem with a surprise. The verses in this book illuminate funny, unexpected, amazing aspects of the everyday—of breakfast, thunder and lightning, houseplants, tennis, freshly laundered socks.

Tap Dancing on the Roof

Archer’s Quest
Clarion, 2006
ages 9 to 12, ISBN 978-0-618-59631-7

In Dorchester, New York, Kevin is doing his homework when suddenly an arrow comes out of nowhere and pins his baseball cap to the wall. The man who shot the arrow claims he fell off a tiger...and wound up in Kevin's room. It's not long before Kevin realizes that the man, who calls himself Chu-mong, or Great Archer, is no ordinary burglar, but a traveler from far away in both space and time. A visit to the local museum confirms that there was a king named Chu-mong in ancient Korea who was legendary for many accomplishments, including exceptional skill with bow and arrow. Kevin knows little about his own Korean heritage, but he understands that unless Archer returns to his people and his throne, history will be changed forever. And he's determined to help Archer go back, no matter what it takes.

Archer's Quest

Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds
by Linda Sue Park and Julia Durango
illustrated by Sue Rama
Charlesbridge, 2005
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-1-57091-659-5

In English, we say “Yum!” when we taste something good, and “Yuck!” when it’s bad. But what do they say in other parts of the world?

Follow an array of children through an urban marketplace to learn people sounds from other lands.

A 2006 ALA Notable Children's book

Yum! Yuck!

Bee-bim Bop!
illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
Clarion, 2005
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-618-26511-4

Bee-bim bop (the name translates as "mix-mix rice") is a traditional Korean dish of rice topped, and then mixed, with meat and vegetables. In bouncy rhyming text, a hungry child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop: shopping, preparing ingredients, setting the table, and finally sitting down with her family to enjoy a favorite meal. The energy and enthusiasm of the young narrator are conveyed in the whimsical illustrations, which bring details from the artist's childhood in Korea to his depiction of a modern Korean American family.

New York Public Library 2005 Best Books list: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

Bee-bim Bop!

What Does Bunny See?:
A Book of Colors and Flowers

illustrated by Maggie Smith
Clarion, 2005
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-618-23485-1

A rabbit explores a garden, finding flowers of every color, before hopping home for a nap and dreams of rainbows. Rhyming clues invite the reader to answer the question: What does bunny see? Linda Sue Park's sprightly verses and Maggie Smith's cheerful illustrations will delight young children, as each turn of the page yields a colorful surprise.

What Does Bunny See?

Project Mulberry
Clarion, 2005
ages 9 to 12, ISBN 978-0-618-47786-9

Julia Song and her friend Patrick would love to win a blue ribbon, maybe even two, at the state fair. They've always done projects together, and they work well as a team. This time, though, they're having trouble coming up with just the right plan. Then Julia's mother offers a suggestion: They can raise silkworms, as she did when she was a girl in Korea. Patrick thinks it's a great idea. Of course there are obstacles. For example, where will they get mulberry leaves, the only thing silkworms eat? But nothing they can't handle.

Julia isn't so sure. The club where kids do their projects is all about traditional American stuff, and raising silkworms just doesn't fit in. Moreover, the author, Ms. Park, seems determined to make Julia's life as complicated as possible, no matter how hard Julia tries to talk her out of it. In her first novel with a contemporary setting, Linda Sue Park delivers a funny, lively story that illuminates both the process of writing a novel and the meaning of growing up American.

2005 Chicago Tribune Young Adult Fiction Prize; New York Public Library 2005 Best Books list

Project Mulberry

Mung-Mung: A Fold-Out Book of Animal Sounds
illustrated by Diane Bigda
Charlesbridge, 2004
baby to preschool, ISBN 978-1-57091-486-7

What kind of animal says mung-mung?
Mung-mung in Korean
Gav-gav in Russian
Bo-bo in Hindi
Wow-wow in Spanish
Woof-woof in English

Open the fold to find the answer!


The Firekeeper’s Son
illustrated by Julie Downing
Clarion, 2004
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-618-13337-6

In Korea in the early 1800s, news from the countryside reached the king by means of signal fires. On one mountaintop after another, a fire was lit when all was well. If the king did not see a fire, that meant trouble, and he would send out his army. Sang-hee is son of the village firekeeper. When his father is unable to light the fire one night, young Sang-hee must take his place. Sang-hee knows how important it is for the fire to be lit—but he wishes that he could see soldiers...just once. Mountains, firelight and shadow, and Sang-hee's struggle with a hard choice are rendered in radiant paintings, which tell their own story of a turning point in a child's life.

Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Firekeeper's Son

When My Name Was Keoko
Clarion, 2002
ages 10 to 14, ISBN 978-0-618-13335-2

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them—even their names—are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor; Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year; School Library Journal Best Books of the Year; ALA Notable Books for Children; ALA Best Books for Young Adults; NY Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age and 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing; Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best; IRA Notable Books for a Global Society; starred reviews: Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal; Junior Library Guild selection, spring 2002

When My Name Was Keoko

A Single Shard
Clarion, 2001
ages 10 to 14, ISBN 978-0-395-97827-6

Tree-ear, an orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch'ulp'o, a potters' village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter's craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min's irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min's work in the hope of a royal commission...even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.

2002 Newbery Medal; School Library Journal Best Books 2001; ALA Booklist Editors' Choice 2001; New York Public Library "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing", 2001; Parents' Choice Memorable New Title Fall 2001

A Single Shard

The Kite Fighters
Clarion, 2000
ages 9 to 12, ISBN 978-0-395-94041-9

In a riveting narrative set in fifteenth-century Korea, two brothers discover a shared passion for kites. Kee-sup can craft a kite unequaled in strength and beauty, but his younger brother, Young-sup, can fly a kite as if he controlled the wind itself. Their combined skills attract the notice of Korea's young king, who chooses Young-sup to fly the royal kite in the New Year kite-flying competition—an honor that is also an awesome responsibility. Although tradition decrees, and the boys' father insists, that the older brother represent the family, both brothers know that this time the family's honor is best left in Young-sup's hands. This touching and suspenseful story, filled with the authentic detail and flavor of traditional Korean kite fighting, brings a remarkable setting vividly to life.

Notable Books for a Global Society Award 2001; IRA Teachers' Choice list 2001; Chicago Public Library system's "Best of the Best" list, 2000; Children's Literature Choices best books 2001 list; Master lists: Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher award 2001-2002, Indiana Young Hoosier Award, Tennessee Volunteer State Book award, 2002-2003; Junior Library Guild selection, Spring 2000; School Library Journal starred review; Los Angeles County Board of Education recommended reading list

The Kite Fighters

Seesaw Girl
Clarion, 1999
ages 9 to 12, ISBN 978-0-395-91514-1

Jade never ventures beyond the walls of her family's Inner Court; in seventeenth-century Korea, a girl of good family does not leave home until she marries. She is enthralled by her older brother's stories about trips to the market and to the ancestral grave sites in the mountains, about reading and painting, about his conversations with their father about business and politics and adventures only boys can have. Jade accepts her destiny, and yet she is endlessly curious about what lies beyond the walls. A lively story with a vividly realized historical setting, Seesaw Girl recounts Jade Blossom's daring attempts to enlarge her world.

New York Public Library, best books for 1999, "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing"; Children's Literature Choices, best books 2000 list; Master lists: Texas Bluebonnet Award, West Virginia State Children's Book Award, South Carolina State Children's Book Award, 2001-2002; Books-to-Share, Outstanding Children's Books of 2000, Westchester (NY) Library System; Best Bets for the Classroom 2000, Virginia Center for Children's Books

Seesaw Girl

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