The Royal Bee
Based on a true story, The Royal Bee is an elegantly written tale that pays tribute to a young boy’s courage and strength of character. Song-ho is a young Korean boy destined by birth to a life of poverty. Barred from going to school—only the sons of wealthy families could attend—he dreams of learning to read and write. Then one day he hears the sound of a school bell and follows it deep into the valley. There, the school master turns him away, but Song-ho’s boldness and determination earn him a chance at gaining an education nevertheless. Dramatically illustrated with richly textured oil paintings, the story offers glimpses of daily life in Korea a century ago—for both the rich and the poor. - Amazon.com Age Range: 6-9
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Boyds Mills Press
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Marvelous Illustrations and Meaningful Messages about Ancient Korea
Our school district has many Korean American families and I wanted their children to see themselves in literature before they get to The Single Shard or Lost Names in Middle School. The Royal Bee is appropriate for Elementary School children; I read it to 2nd graders. Prefacing my reading of the book with 'customs and clothing were different long ago' and explaining the meaning of a "bee." Afterward, we discussed the teacher-student and parent-child relationships as shown in the book. Then, with guided questions, the children deduced that curiosity and hard work were integral to Song-ho's learning and extended the concept of the royal bee to auditions or sports competitions to prove one's qualifications for a position.