Resources:  Books

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This list has been pre-screened. Books in this color were highly recommended by KAAN conference attendees.  Contact Us with additions or corrections.

The Face in the Mirror  by Marion Crook   Based on interviews with adopted teens, adoptive parents, and birthparents, this book focuses on the additional struggle adopted teens may face when discovering their identity and sense of belonging

The Family of Adoption  by Joyce Maguire Pavao   Describes the grief processes, dilemmas, and potentials for healing of birth mothers and adoptive parents. Discusses the difference between secrecy and privacy--a crucial distinction in adoption--and lends a strong voice to the movement for openness. Pavao is the first specialist to clearly identify and demonstrate predictable, understandable developmental stages and challenges for every adoptee (pointing out, for example, that adopted children tend to daydream, and may have a more challenging adolescence), and elucidates patterns that adoptive parents may witness as their children grow.

The Firekeeper's Son  by Linda Sue Park    In early 19th-century Korea, a boy takes over his father's task of lighting the evening fire that signals to the palace that all is well. Includes historical notes.

The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism  by Debra Van Ausdale & Joe R. Feagin   Results of a study on nursery school children and the degree to which they recognize sameness and difference in social situations. Interesting information though the study is critiqued for lack of data to give it depth.

The Flamingo Rising  by Larry Baker   About an adoptive family made up of a religious, academician mother, a PT Barnum-type promoter father, and two Korean-American kids who make sense of their upbringing as best they can.

The Fold  by An Na   Korean-American high school student Joyce Kim feels like a nonentity compared to her beautiful older sister and when her aunt offers to pay for plastic surgery on her eyes, she jumps at the chance, thinking it will change her life for the better.

The Foreign Student  by Susan Choi    Story of a Korean man, previously a translator for the United States and later a prisoner in a Communist internment camp, who travels to the American South in 1955 as a student.

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently ... and Why  by Richard E. Nesbitt   

The Girl-Son  by Anne Neuberger    Advanced chapter/ young adult book telling the (real life) story of a Korean girl whose mother helps her get an education by dressing her as a boy. Don't have the time period handy, but it was earlier this century I believe. It is a Mulan-type story; she goes on to found a school for girls. Writing is not the tightest but has a charm of its own.

The Good Man  by Edward Jae-Suk Lee   Gabriel Guttman, a Korean War veteran who participated in the No Gun Ri massacre, returns to the Montana sheep ranch of his youth in search of redemption.

The Green Frogs  by Yumi Heo    A folktale about two green frogs who always disobey their mother, explaining why green frogs cry out whenever it rains.

The Have a Good Day Cafe  by Frances Park and Ginger Park   A boy's grandmother, recently emigrated from Korea, inspires in him an idea to save his family's floundering food cart business.

The International Adoption Handbook  by Myra Alperson (Holt)   

The Interpreter  by Suki Kim    A young interpreter for the NYC court system discovers that perhaps the murder of her parents at their grocery store five years earlier was due to more than a robbery gone bad.

The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish  by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. and Stanley Greenspan, M.D   These well-respected and very well-known experts suggest that all children should be cared for by at least one parent until the child is at least age three.

The Kimchi Chronicles: Korean Cooking for an American Kitchen  by Marja Vongerichten    Companion to the PBS series of the same name starring a Korean adoptee.

The King's Secret: The Legend of King Sejong  by Carol J. Farley   With the help of a scholar and a young gardener, the wise king of Korea introduces an alphabet that will enable his people to read and write in their own language.

The Kite Fighters  by Linda Sue Park    Two brothers prepare for the New Year kite fighting competition in Seoul, 1473...Kee-sup, the older brother who by tradition must represent the family, and Young-sup, who must find some way to use his superior kite flying skills to support his brother.

The Korean Americans  by Brian Lehrer    Text covering Korean history and modern life in America. Includes photographs. Good basic text.

The Korean Cinderella  by Shirley Climo   In this version of Cinderella set in ancient Korea, Pear Blossom, a stepchild, eventually comes to be chosen by the magistrate to be his wife.