A Step From Heaven
March 4th 2014
In A Step From Heaven Young Ju's family gets turned around in a way she never expected.
When Young Ju was about 4, her family let her know they were leaving Korea to go to America because it provides a better life. The only bad thing about that was they had to leave her best friend behind, her grandmother Halmoni.
When her family would talk about how amazing America was, she thought they were going to Heaven to be with God! Since she was so little she didn't know any better.
When they arrived, she realized it wasn't Heaven. They could only afford to live in a two story apartment with a gross yard and the house smelled of alcohol. She didnt understand what was happening and she wanted to go back to Halmoni so much. To add to her new life in America, she just got a new baby brother, Joon.
Once she was a little older, she started going to public school with Joon. She was very devoted to her studies and wanted to make her family proud. Now she was ten and remembers so little from Korea, even Halmoni.
Apa, her father, was devastated when Halmoni died. Soon he got very abusive and began screaming and sometimes leaving for a week straight and leave Uhmma with the kids. Uhmma decided that she wanted to start going to church with the children but that didn't last long, Apa got into big trouble.
He came home and immediately started abusing them. Soon after that when he tried to kill Uhmma, Young stepped up and called the police.
Once her family was safe from Apa and she and her family were okay, she was leaving for college. When Uhmma decides to show her pictures from childhood and she finally
She was showing her pictures of herself, Joon, Halmoni, and even Apa. She gives her a picture of Her and her Apa and reminds her that " We come from a family of dreamers and if you work hard Young Ju, you are only a step from Heaven."
Some history of the Printz award is the first recipient of the of the award was Ellen Wittlinger with Hard Love in 2000. The award began in the year 2000. It was only in the United States when it started and still is.
Some criteria for this award includes that the genres that are in the running are non-fiction, poetry, anthologies, and fiction. The award is based off of if it is good for readers of of the age 12 through 18. The book must be published the year before the award is given out. You cannot publish a book in 2014 and get an award in 2014 for that book. For the Printz award there is one winner, but up to four other titles you can possibly win. The Printz award is sponsored my Booklist, Publication of American Library Association. Michael L. Printz retired from his job in 1994 and died at age 59 in 1996.
An Na was born in Korea in 1972. Although she was Korean-born, she wanted to become an American's children's author. She started her career as a middle school English and history teacher. Once she took a Young Adult literature class, she immediately started writing novels. To help her achieve writing, she enrolled in M.F.A. program at Vermont College.
She gained success on her first book, A Step From Heaven which was published by Front Stress Press. She won the Michael L. Printz award in 2001 as well. For this book she was also recognized for the "best book written for teens". Na was a finalist for National Book Award for young people's literature and also found on the "Best Books" list. She still wants to inspire young Asian-American students and children everywhere by talking about her career and encourages creativity. She always says that she still admires her first writing teacher, Jaqueline Woodson.
She currently splits her time between Oakland, CA and Warren, VT. Some of her other works include Wait For Me (2006), The Fold (2008), and Akabar: The Great Emperor of India.