The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur
Macmillan / Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Five years ago, Hwani and her sister Maewol got lost in the forest and were later found unconscious, just a few paces away from the apparent suicide of a young woman. Then Hwani’s father, Detective Min, disappears in the same area, and Hwani returns to the hometown they left after the incident, following cryptic clues in her father’s journal that seem to connect the Forest Incident–as it came to be called–with the recent disappearance of thirteen girls. As she reconnects with her estranged sister and doggedly follows in the footsteps of her father’s investigation, lost memories begin to bubble to the surface — memories that someone else would like to see buried forever.
Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur
Historical fiction can be a deceptively complex genre to define. It would seem initially that any fiction set in the past might be considered historical fiction but as we examine this basic distinction, it becomes significantly less simple. After all, how far into the past does a novel need to be set to be considered historical rather than contemporary realistic fiction? Do we use a specific range of years? Do we consider the likely cultural memory and lived experiences of the intended audience? For the purposes of this guide, I’ve decided to define historical fiction as a novel set in the past in which the particular realities of that time and place play a significant role in the narrative.
The genre of historical fiction is vast and varied. The idea of compiling a definitive genre guide is fairly daunting so I chose a focus: “off the beaten path” historical fiction–novels set in the past that feature perspectives, places, time periods, or events frequently unexplored in both the average history class curriculum and historical fiction.
These novels expand the genre beyond the ‘white people in interesting clothing’ approach that can dominate the historical fiction shelves. In the process of creating history, many voices have been silenced, forgotten, or shoved aside. Good historical fiction–like all good fiction–weaves an absorbing story with complex characters, providing us with an opportunity to counteract simplified or biased versions of history. Through fiction, readers can look at well-known events from a new perspective, immerse themselves in unfamiliar cultures, or see an exploration of their heritage.
Continue reading Beyond The History Books: Genre Guide to ‘Off The Beaten Path’ Historical Fiction