In Young-hee's life everything feels wrong. It seemed like only yesterday that her world was just as it should be. But now her dad is gone, her mom is overextended, and Young-hee is forced to move back to Seoul—and not a nice part of Seoul, either. To make matters worse, the girls at her new school are nasty, and her little brother Bum is an insufferable, attention-hogging pain.
Then Young-hee stumbles into a magical world, where the fairy stories of her childhood are real and all the frustrations of her everyday life fade away—until Bum is kidnapped, and the only way Young-hee can save him is by finding the magical pullocho plant. Soon, she is plunged into an epic quest, encountering dragons and fairies and facing decisions that affect not only Bum, but the fate of an entire world.
In Young-hee and the Pullocho, debut novelist Mark James Russell puts a Korean spin on an evergreen fantasy trope, interweaving Korean folktales with the story of a young girl who, without realizing it, is in search of herself. Readers of all ages will want to join Young-hee as she journeys from the dingiest part of Seoul to enchanted lands that prove more beautiful—and more dangerous—than she ever could have imagined.