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GOOD-BYE, 382 SHIN DANG DONG by Frances Park


by Frances Park & Ginger Park & illustrated by Yangsook Choi

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7922-7985-9
Publisher: National Geographic

Though the subject of moving day is a popular theme, the Parks (Where on Earth is My Bagel, 2001, etc.) provide a unique perspective on the experience. Jangmi relates her memories of her move from her Korean home to America when she was eight years old. She wakes to the beginning of the monsoon rains on her roof in her room stripped of all her belongings that her parents have packed in a big brown box marked “Lovely Things.” Her best friend, Kisuni, arrives and at the market they pick out their favorite food for the farewell luncheon that day. They sit under the willow tree and share the chummy, a type of melon, sad to soon be separated. At the luncheon, family and friends “celebrate in a sad way” with traditional foods and Korean songs: “Love, laughter and tears ripple through the house.” Four days later, Jangmi and her parents arrive to begin a new life in Brighton, Massachusetts. As Jangmi arranges her “lovely things” in her own room, all of the neighbors arrive with “plates of curious food” and “something called casseroles.” Jangmi meets a girl called Mary who asks what kind of food Jangmi eats in Korea. When Dad translates the question and Jangmi answers “Chummy,” Mary giggles—just like Kisuni. The parallels of life in Korea and America are smartly conceived, and young readers will immediately identify with Jangmi and her friends. Korean terms, easily recognized in the context, add richness. Choi’s (Earthquake, 2001, etc.) oils on the opposite page of the text are simple and focus on the young girl, though the two countries are distinct in the illustrations. A gentle and loving story perfectly pitched to its audience. (Fiction. 6-9)