by Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Julie Downing
Clarion Books, March 22, 2004
40 pages, ages 4-8
The Firekeeper's Son
In Korea in the early 1800s, news from the countryside reached the king by means of signal fires. On one mountaintop after another, a fire was lit when all was well. If the king did not see a fire, that meant trouble, and he would send out his army.
Linda Sue Park’s first picture book for Clarion is about Sang-hee, son of the village firekeeper. When his father is unable to light the fire one night, young Sang-hee must take his place. Sang-hee knows how important it is for the fire to be lit—but he wishes that he could see soldiers … just once.
Mountains, firelight and shadow, and Sunhee’s struggle with a hard choice are rendered in radiant paintings, which tell their own story of a turning point in a child’s life.
2004 AISLE Read-Aloud Books Too Good to Miss
2006 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature
2005 Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year
2004 Bank Street College of Education Irma Simonton and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature Honor Book
2005 CCBC Choices
2007 Georgia’s Children’s Book Award Nominee
2005 IRA Teachers’ Choice Reading List
Junior Library Guild Selection
2005 Kansas State Reading Circle Recommendation
2006 Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee
2008 Monarch Award Nominee (IL)
2004 New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
2004 Parents’ Choice Recommended Winner
2007 Volunteer State (TN) Book Award Master Reading List
2006 Young Hoosier Book Award (IN) Nominee