A Piece of Home (Hardcover)
Candlewick Press (MA), 9780763669713, 32pp.
Publication Date: June 14, 2016
A child-friendly story about the trials and triumphs of starting over in a new place while keeping family and traditions close. When Hee Jun's family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. His eyes are not big and round like his classmates', and he can't understand anything the teacher says, even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly at him. As he lies in bed at night, the sky seems smaller and darker. But little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. And one day he is invited to a classmate's house, where he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea -- mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him -- and Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a "piece of home" in their new garden. Lyrical prose and lovely illustrations combine in a gentle, realistic story about finding connections in an unfamiliar world.
About the Author
Jeri Watts has written numerous short stories as well as the picture book Keepers and the middle-grade novel Kizzy Ann Stamps. She lives in Virginia, where she is a professor at Lynchburg College. Hyewon Yum is the author and illustrator of several acclaimed books for children. She has received the Society of Illustrator's Founder's Award, the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, an Honorable Mention for the Bologna Ragazzi Award, and the Golden Kite Award for her work. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.