The Firekeeper’s Son

Defense against invaders is important when a country is a peninsula and seen as valuable property by the empire’s that surround it. That’s a big part of Korea’s history. But how would you communicate that invaders were coming without phones, e-mail, or text messages?

The Firekeeper’s Son by Linda Sue Park details how peace or invasion were communicated across the land. It’s a story of duty to country and family. In the early 1800’s, fires were ignited each night to signal peace in the land. Sang-hee’s family has passed down the job, and one night when his father can’t light the fire, Sang-hee must take the responsibility even though he longs to see real soldiers just once.

Park’s books are some of my favorite Korean  books for children, and this one is no exception. Many of Park’s books have main characters who are male, as the mother of a son, I really appreciate. This one is intended for audiences between 4-8, I love the message that even a young boy can help his family and his country.


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