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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Bookstorm™: Firekeeper’s Son

Bookmap Firekeeper's SonFirekeeper's SonThis month, we are pleased to fea­ture Firekeeper’s Son, writ­ten by Lin­da Sue Park and illus­trat­ed by Julie Down­ing. Set in Korea in the 19th cen­tu­ry, it’s a book about an his­toric sys­tem of sig­nal fires that served as nation­al secu­ri­ty … and one fam­i­ly who is respon­si­ble for light­ing a bon­fire each and every night. 

The young boy at the cen­ter of the book dreams of see­ing sol­diers, but it’s his father’s job to advise the king that all is clear. Sol­diers are not need­ed. What hap­pens when the boy must fill in for his father? Will he call the sol­diers to sat­is­fy his dreams? With lumi­nous, com­pelling illus­tra­tions, this is a mem­o­rable book about hon­or, loy­al­ty, and dis­ci­pline.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Firekeeper’s Son, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. The book will be com­fort­ably read to or by ages 4 through adult. We’ve includ­ed fic­tion and non­fic­tion, pic­ture books, poet­ry, mid­dle grade books, and books adults will find inter­est­ing. 

Kore­an Cul­ture. The peo­ple and places of Korea, the alpha­bet and lan­guage, proverbs and folk­tales … there are books to famil­iar­ize your class­room with the ancient and fas­ci­nat­ing cul­ture of the Land of Morn­ing Calm.

Fic­tion: Books Set in Korea. From pic­ture books to mid­dle grade nov­els, many books have been set in Korea, both his­tor­i­cal nov­els like Kite Fight­ers and pic­ture books about Amer­i­can immi­grants like The Name Jar. Lin­da Sue Park’s New­bery Medal nov­el A Sin­gle Shard fits with­in this cat­e­go­ry and so does Year of Impos­si­ble Good­byes by Sook Nyul Choi. Good sto­ries!

Fire and Light. Sang-hee’s fam­i­ly works with fire. Hav­ing a reli­able way to light the sig­nal fire each evening is vital. How does fire work? We’ve select­ed inter­est­ing web­sites and a DK Eye­wit­ness book for “spark­ing” an inter­est. 

Poet­ry. Are you famil­iar with the Kore­an sijo form of poet­ry? Tap Danc­ing on the Roof is filled with this pre­cise poet­ry with a twist.

Web­sites, Videos, and Films About Korea. We’ve select­ed web­sites from the Kore­an Art Asso­ci­a­tion, the BBC, The New York Times and more to fill in answers for some of the ques­tions you will have about Korea when you read all of these books.

Codes and Sig­nals. From storm codes to sig­nal fires to secret writ­ing and ciphers, codes have fas­ci­nat­ed peo­ple for thou­sands of years.

Korea–Books for Adult Read­ers. You’ll want to fill in the gaps in your knowl­edge about Korea. We’ve found some high­ly rec­om­mend­ed books, includ­ing one of the books Lin­da Sue Park used for her research for Firekeeper’s Son.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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