A Step from Heaven | An Na

A young Korean girl and her parents immigrate to California, where they struggle to pursue the American dream.

Awards & Honors

• A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 2001

• A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, 2001

• Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Literature for Young Adults, 2002

• An ALA Notable Book for Children, 2002

• Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, 2004


Mi Gook—what is it? To Young Ju Park, it’s a magical place that makes her parents happy whenever they talk about it. Mi Gook is America, where she and her family will move for a better life than the one they have in Korea. They have to fly through the sky to get there, so Young Ju thinks America must be in heaven. But her new home doesn’t turn out to be all that she dreamed. Her dad has to work at two jobs just so they can rent a peeling-paint house and buy a car with ripped up seats. As Young Ju grows up, some things get better … but her dad’s drinking problem gets worse. Can their family’s life in America ever be close to heaven?

Na, An. A Step from Heaven. New York: Speak/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2001.


May 19, 2009. Tags: , . Multicultural.

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