by Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng
Clarion Books, 2021
Language: English
paperback: 978-1328515131
72 pages, ages 8 and up

Available March 12, 2021
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The One Thing You'd Save

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save? Linda Sue Park explores different answers to this provocative question in linked poems that capture the diverse voices of a middle school class.

When a teacher asks her class what one thing they would save in an emergency, some students know the answer right away. Others come to their decisions more slowly. And some change their minds when they hear their classmates’ responses. A lively dialogue ignites as the students discover unexpected facets of one another—and themselves. With an ear for authentic dialogue and knowledge of tweens’ priorities and emotions, Linda Sue brings the varied voices of an inclusive classroom to life through carefully honed, engaging, and instantly accessible verse.

Reviews

“Newbery Medalist Park presents a provocative collection of narrative poems inspired by sijo, a 14th-century Korean syllabic verse form.... Coupled with debut illustrator Sae-Heng’s accessible grayscale sketches of the objects, often in situ, Park’s subjects’ mementos offer middle-grade readers much food for thought regarding what one values and how others can touch one’s life.... Park’s extended rumination has the power to bring us home."

—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The class’s camaraderie and caring spirit comes through clearly, poised to inspire thoughtful classroom discussion.”

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