Echoes Of The White Giraffe

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Overview

* “Wonderfully telling scenes evoke the time, the place, and—more subtly—the deep-running emotions that these people, bound by customs and besieged by troubles, were so rarely free to acknowledge.”—Kirkus Reviews, pointer review “Ms. Choi writes of social, political and personal hurts in a context few young Americans today have experienced. Yet she tells of more than dislocation: she tells of Sookan’s personal growth, indeed her triumph.”—New York Times

Sookan, the unforgettable heroine of Year of Impossible ...

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Echoes of the White Giraffe

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Overview

* “Wonderfully telling scenes evoke the time, the place, and—more subtly—the deep-running emotions that these people, bound by customs and besieged by troubles, were so rarely free to acknowledge.”—Kirkus Reviews, pointer review “Ms. Choi writes of social, political and personal hurts in a context few young Americans today have experienced. Yet she tells of more than dislocation: she tells of Sookan’s personal growth, indeed her triumph.”—New York Times

Sookan, the unforgettable heroine of Year of Impossible Goodbyes, is now fifteen years old and a refugee in Pusan, a city in a southern province of Korea. The Korean War is raging, and she once again has been separated from her father and brothers. Anxiously awaiting any news of them, Sookan imagines a time when she can return to a normal life in Seoul. In the meantime, though she often feels sad, alone, and scared, she finds solace in a forbidden friendship and from the mysterious “shouting poet” who offers her and her fellow refugees inspiration each morning.

Fifteen-year-old Sookan adjusts to life in the refugee village in Pusan but continues to hope that the civil war will end and her family will be reunited in Seoul.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sookan, the heroine who fled war-torn Seoul with her mother and younger brother in Choi's Year of Impossible Goodbyes , returns in this haunting sequel to tell of life as a refugee in South Korea. Now 15, Sookan tries to establish a sense of normalcy during turbulent times as she attends a makeshift school, worries about her missing father and older brothers, and contends with living in a mountaintop shack on the outskirts of Pusan. But perhaps most confusing of all, Sookan experiences her first romance. She takes comfort in her blossoming yet forbidden friendship with the handsome Junho, sharing with him her hopes and dreams of a happy, peaceful future. The end of the war brings still more upheaval when Sookan and the other refugees make their way back to the North and pick up the rubble of their former lives. Sookan's first-person narrative sustains a level of emotional intensity befitting the often dire events that swirl around her. Choi's graceful writing sews the disparate catastrophes into a satisfying, almost cathartic whole. She has once again succeeded in putting a very human face on a tragic episode of world history. This inspirational work possesses a confidence and quiet triumph with universal reverberations. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-- Having narrowly escaped oppression in their native North Korea in Year of Impossible Goodbyes (Houghton, 1991), Sookan and her younger brother were reunited with their mother and their long-missing father and three older brothers. In this, the sequel, the family is again separated, this time by the Korean War. Fleeing falling bombs, Sookan, Inchun, and their mother arrive safely in Pusan, uncertain of the whereabouts of the men. They establish themselves in a shack at the top of a mountain where, along with other refugees, they try to subdue their doubts and grief as they tackle daily routines, face their memories, and dare to hope for a secure future. Singing in the church choir, Sookan, now 15, meets Junho, a young man whose kindness and sympathetic nature deeply impress her. Incredibly tame by today's standards, their friendship leads to a few daring encounters, such as having a photograph taken together and having an unchaperoned conversation. After the truce is signed ending the war, the surviving family members are reunited. Sookan immerses herself in her schoolwork and achieves her goal of attending college in the U. S. While it lacks the action of the first book, this is a poignant story in which Choi speaks with an authentic voice, both in describing a young girl's coming of age and a war-weary nation where, even today, people are uncertain about the fate of family members. Readers will finish the book with a deeper understanding of Korea's past. --Susan Middleton, LaJolla Country Day School, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618809172
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 12/1/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 628,923
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    Great and inspring

    This story helped me understand the korean war and the culture that went along with it. The first part of the story "Year of Impossible Goodbyes" tells how Sokan excapaped North Korea. The Next part of the book Gathering of pearls gives what her collage life is like in a forien country

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2002

    Awesome book

    sequel to Year of Impossible Goodbyes. Sookans life when shes about 17 and falls in love with a guy. Highly recommended.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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