Korean American Books

Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars, by Sheri Holman

(Young Adult) The coming-of-age fiction, told in diary form, explores the life of Korean Princess Sondok (595 AD) during the Three Kingdom period of ancient Korea before she became the first reigning queen of Silla in 632 AD. During a period of rife factionalism between Buddhism, Confucianism and Shamanism/Animism, young princess Sondok finds peace in the studying the stars. Barred as a female from formal education, Sondok manages to learn from a Chinese envoy and discovers astronomy. The story is of an adolescent girl who investigates issues of warring faiths in her time, and who ultimately becomes queen to a period when Buddhism will flourish and the remarkable astronomical observatory that still stands today in Korea will be built.

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