Jangmi can't bear the idea of leaving her home at 382 Shin Dang Dong, but she has no choice. Everything is packed, friends and family come for a good-bye party, and she and her best friend Kisuni sit under the willow tree in the rain and reassure each other that they will always be friends. Then it's off to the airport and into the unknown. The new house at 112 Foster Place in Brighton, Massachussetts, seems very strange, with its heavy doors and wooden floors, but the movers come with Jangmi's special things, the neighbors bring food, and Jangmi meets Mary, who may one day be her friend.
At the end of the book Jangmi is sitting under the maple tree in the back yard writing to Kisuni but already beginning to settle in. The book is based on the experience of the authors' older sister, who moved with their parents from 382 Shin Dang Dongo to 112 Foster Place in 1956. To make sure to get the pictures just right, the illustrator (who herself emigrated from Korea to the U.S. at the age of 19) returned to Seoul to paint the illustrations during the Monsoon season.
The exotic Korean setting is beautiful and interesting, but at base this is a book about moving, appropriate for the very large number of children who have to move and for those friends they leave behind.