In the Tunnel

Holiday House. May 2023. 304p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823450398.
Gr 5 Up–Set in the 1950s, Lee’s latest novel offers readers a glimpse of the brutal personal impacts of the Korean War. Myung-gi is 16—too young to go to war, and yet he’s carrying a rifle, fighting in a conflict that’s tearing families apart all across the country. He shouldn’t be there at all. He loves books and reading, the sound of language flowing off the page, but he’s come to the 38th parallel to find his father, Ahpa, who was taken by the secret police. This vivid, powerful title uses Myung-gi’s story to give readers a firsthand glimpse of the political and military turmoil in mid–20th-century Korea. The book vividly captures the disorientation and longing of a young man who finds himself cut off from his home, his family, and his dreams for the future. Through flashbacks, Lee shows how her characters reassemble the pieces of their lives to create a new, more hopeful story.
VERDICT This companion novel to Brother’s Keeper is recommended for readers of historical fiction—particularly fiction that deals with themes of war, trauma, and disconnection.

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