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Peacebound Trains by Haemi Balgassi
Book DescriptionWhile her mother is in the army, Sumi is living with her grandmother, on East Blossom Hill. Perched on her favorite rock, Sumi watches trains wind through the valley below, hears the lonely sound of their whistles piercing the air, and longs for the day her mother will return. The train whistle reminds Sumi's grandmother of a time when a train played an important role in her life too: long ago in Korea, when she and her family escaped Seoul at the last moment before the war came. In poetic language and exquisite paintings, PEACEBOUND TRAINS evokes the landscape and people of Korea and a special grandmother-granddaughter relationship.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780618040308
(235mm x 178mm x 4mm)
Imprint: Houghton Mifflin (Trade)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publish Date: 28-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United States
US Kirkus Review » A lovely combination picture book/chapter book based, according to the author's note, on family memories about the trauma of leaving a beloved home for fear of an invading army; in this case, there is the added tragedy of civil war, with brother fighting brother as South Korea and the Communist North battle over Seoul. Sorrowful because her birthday is three days away and her widowed mother will still be absent, Sumi goes to her favorite spot, where she can watch the trains pass by. Her grandmother comes to comfort her, telling her about the time years ago when she rode in the middle of winter with her young children on the roof of a train that carried her away from her husband and home, forever. It is far more heartbreaking than Sumi's own troubles, and soon she is comforting her grandmother. Balgassi's mother took such a ride; here the incident is woven into a poignant, accessible story, useful not only for those wishing to explore their Korean roots, but for readers aware of or curious about the dislocations of war. In expressive watercolors, Soentpiet provides an accurate look at Korean culture of the 1950s as well as Sumi's contemporary setting. (Kirkus Reviews)
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