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By Won-pyung Sohn and Sandy Joosun Lee
Almond by Won-pyung Sohn and Sandy Joosun Lee digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description


The Emissary meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in this poignant and triumphant story about how love, friendship, and persistence can change a life forever.

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. 

One of the monsters is me.

Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother provide him with a safe and content life. Their little home above his mother’s used bookstore is decorated with colorful Post-it notes that remind him when to smile, when to say "thank you," and when to laugh.

Then on Christmas Eve—Yunjae’s sixteenth birthday—everything changes. A shocking act of random violence shatters his world, leaving him alone and on his own. Struggling to cope with his loss, Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school, and they develop a surprising bond.

As Yunjae begins to open his life to new people—including a girl at school—something slowly changes inside him. And when Gon suddenly finds his life at risk, Yunjae will have the chance to step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become the hero he never thought he would be.

Readers of Wonder by R.J. Palaccio and Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig will appreciate this "resonant" story that "gives Yunjae the courage to claim an entirely different story." (Booklist, starred review)

Translated from the Korean by Sandy Joosun Lee.

62 Reviews

Thinking Face“original and immersive. I read it very fast since it was beautifully compelling. Wasn’t very satisfied with the ending because it felt predictable, thought maybe it makes sense it worked out the way it did.”
Characters change and growEasy to readFast-pacedRealistic settingComing of ageViolenceUnsatisfying ending
Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes“5/5⭐️ this book was amazing sad :( however i loved it! the ending was a bit of a shock for me i was scared that it would end differently but it didn’t, i loved the main character he’s amazing, all in all read highly recommend the ending was beautiful and made me cry 🥲”
Characters change and growMulti-layered charactersEnlighteningInformativeInsightfulMade me cryMeaningfulMoving
Surprised Face with Open Mouth“I really liked this book. It made me cry like 3 times. I had to put it down for a little bit after the butterfly scene, that was highly upsetting for me. Overall, I would recommend this book.”
Characters change and growMade me cry
Surprised Face with Open Mouth“it's so easy to read, and simple yet it's so profound”
Characters change and growMind-bendingRealistic settingHopefulInspirationalMade me cry
Thumbs Up“interesting! but didnt love it”
Characters change and growMorally ambiguousMulti-layered charactersComplexUnpredictableComing of age

About Won-pyung Sohn

Sohn Won-pyung is a film director, screenwriter, and novelist living in South Korea. She earned a BA in social studies and philosophy at Sogang University and film directing at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. She has won several prizes, including the Film Review Award of the 6th Cine21, and the Science Fantasy Writers’ Award for her movie script I Believe in the Moment. She also wrote and directed a number of short films, including Oooh You Make Me Sick and A Two-way Monologue. She made her literary debut in 2017 with this, her first full-length novel, Almond, which won the Changbi Prize for Young Adult Fiction, followed by which won the Jeju 4.3 Peace Literary Award.

Sandy Joosun Lee

Sandy Joosun Lee is a translator and interpreter based in Seoul. She earned a BA in Literature/Writing from the University of California, San Diego. She has received translation grants from Literary Translation Institute of Korea and Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea. She currently works at Studio Mir where she translates and develops animated content.

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