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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. Afterword.
About the Author
Julie Downing has written and/or illustrated over 30 picture books. For Clarion, she has illustrated The Firekeeper’s Son by Linda Sue Park, among others. Her books have received a Parents’ Choice Award and a New York Public Library Best Books Award. She lives in San Francisco, California. For more information visit www.juliedowning.com.
Linda Sue Park is the author of the Newbery Medal-winning A Single Shard, the best-seller A Long Walk to Water, and the highly-praised novel Prairie Lotus. She has also written several acclaimed picture books and serves on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. She lives in western New York with her family. www.lindasuepark.com, Twitter: @LindaSuePark
"handsome, watercolor-and-pastel double-page pictures personalize the history...panoramic views...as the boy tends the flame that preserves peace" BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA
"a tale rooted in...history...watercolor illustrations glow with vibrancy... especially striking...A lovely telling that will bring readers back" KIRKUS REVIEWS Kirkus Reviews
"Suspenseful...Assured, empathetic storytelling involves readers in Sang-hee's inner conflict...Downing amplifies the tension with dramatically composed watercolor-and-pastel illustrations ...fascinating" PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review Publishers Weekly, Starred
"An attractive celebration of unity, peace, and family heritage, Sang-hee's story also emphasizes...beauty, power, and responsibility." THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"...compelling...Lyrical prose... Children will be intrigued...caught up in the riveting dilemma, and satisfied by the resolution." School Library Journal