The Forest of Stolen Girls


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From the Publisher

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June Hur Author PhotoJune Hur Author Photo

Author Q&A

This story is incredibly unique. What inspired you to write about two sisters in the Joseon period?

The Joseon Dynasty is a long and rich period, stretching from 1392 to 1910, so there’s so many fascinating and horrifying events to explore through fiction. The event I was particularly drawn to for this book was the practice of human tribute giving. In the Joseon period, Korea became a vasal state to China in order to prevent war, and so they would round up unmarried Korean girls between the ages of 11 to 18 to send to China as tribute. I ended up creating a murder mystery circling around this event, and since the crime involves girls, I wanted to make the sleuths teenage girls who are capable and full of courage.

I also have a younger sister who is very different from me, and I thought it’d be fun to make the crime-solving duo estranged sisters who learn to love each other as they search for the truth together.

What is your worldbuilding process and do you have a favorite part?

I begin by figuring out the map of the world and writing out key atmospheric details that are unique to the time and place. I then dedicate a few months to pure research, and my research continues on the side as I draft and revise the book, because I truly believe that research is what breaths life into a fictional world. My favorite part would have to be bringing nature to life in my work.

What did your research look like for this book, considering that it’s so rich with details?

I began my research by reading every book I could find about Jeju. I relied heavily on the internet, searching up scholarly articles and tapping into resources provided through the Jeju Island government website. Later on, I had the opportunity to visit Jeju Island in person. I visited museums and the places I mentioned in my book, and all this really helped me flesh out the world.

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Feiwel & Friends (April 20, 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250229588
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250229588
Reading age ‏ : ‎ 13 – 18 years
Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL780L
Grade level ‏ : ‎ 7 – 9
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.11 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.8 x 1.35 x 8.55 inches

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