I hope everyone has had a great weekend, despite the rain and wind. Although these kinds of weekends can be bleak, they can also be great for snuggling up with a great book and reading to the sounds of the rain! I took advantage of the unwelcoming weather outside by doing just that. I’ve recently begun reading a new young adult novel entitled A Step from Heaven by An Na (not Anna, but An Na :)) a Korean American writer. For this weekend’s post, I’m going to model the Criteria for Success for you using this novel…
I began reading A Step from Heaven, by An Na, this weekend and I am truly enjoying this book. The story is narrated by Young Ju, who is five or six years old at the beginning of the novel. Her perspective on the events taking place is very cute. I really fell in love with this narrator when I read her description of her dog rolling around on the ground, just begging to be petted. Her mother had dressed her in a special dress and told her not to get dirty, but she just couldn’t help but scratch her dog’s tummy. It’s such a sweet, innocent description of a tiny moment, reminding me to observe tiny moments in my life more carefully myself.
Young Ju is going to grow up over the course of this novel, making me think that this novel will follow a bildungsroman style plot structure, similar to that of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. So far, however, she is still quite young. She and her family have just moved to the United States from Korea. They call the USA Mi Gook, and the narrator expects Mi Gook to be like heaven. In fact, when they arrive to their relative’s home, she wanders around the house looking for her deceased grandfather because she truly believes she and her family have left Korea to move to heaven. The author has created an endearing narrator whose perspective on life is still so sweet and innocent, much like Francie’s was at the beginning of ATGIB. An Na’s intentions are to set the reader up with an early view of the narrator, before she reaches puberty, in order to show us how much she changes. This book is about growing up, and also about the immigrant experience. Young Ju and her family will likely meet with struggles in their new life in Mi Gook, and we will see how these struggles affect her life and her perspective on the world.
CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS
1. Username. Title of book. Author of book.
2. This weekend, I read _______ pages.
3. Two paragraphs about your novel:
Paragraph 1: Summarize what you’ve read this weekend. Explain a part that you especially enjoyed in more detail. (Like the description I wrote of the dog’s tummy)
Paragraph 2: Analyze the narrator or the protagonist of your novel. What kind of person is he/she? What kind of perspective does he/she have of the world? Is he/she likeable? Why or why not? At the end of this paragraph, explain the author’s intentions. What is the purpose/the lesson/the theme/the social issue that this author is addressing through this character/narrator?
Happy reading and happy blogging!