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The color of Earth by Tong-hwa Kim
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The color of Earth (edition 2009)

by Tong-hwa Kim, Lauren Na, Min-ho Hwang, Alexis Siegel

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328None33,503 (3.88)11
Member:ValainaLalaith
Title:The color of Earth
Authors:Tong-hwa Kim
Other authors:Lauren Na, Min-ho Hwang, Alexis Siegel
Info:New York : First Second, 2009.
Collections:S571 Books
Rating:*****
Tags:10th+, Historical Fiction, Korea, coming of age, sexual awakening, mothers and daughters

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The Color of Earth by Dong Hwa Kim

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The language and the illustrations of The Color of Earth were pretty, but the characters and storyline were so uninteresting that halfway through the book I checked to see if the author was a man. It is. The only conversations and inner workings of the female characters we are privy to have to do with men/boys, sex, love, and puberty. We are only shown this side of them so to me they do not seem like real people and there is nothing that makes me care what happens to them. The men are written to be foils to whatever wonderings and sex conversations the main character, Ehwa, has later with her mother. The treatment of sex and puberty are so indirect and metaphorical that if a reader were truly interested in or trying to learn about those topics, this book would only serve to confuse and misinform them. ( )
  C.Davidson | Apr 13, 2014 |
It's wonderful to find mature graphic novels. The author is male, and I cannot believe he has written such a beautiful and kind story about his Mother's coming of age! It's sweet and honest. The illustrations are gorgeous. Can't wait to read the next two.
OK, update. This is slightly erotic. The next one is more so. I mean, it is a coming of age story. It shouldn't be in the young adult section. Yes, it's their age, but do you want your teens getting hot over masturbation scenes? It's a toughy to classify: yes it is a beautiful series, realistic more or less, endearing, but even though it is innocent, it is still sexually charged. ( )
  MochiMama | Aug 21, 2013 |
The Color of Earth by Dong Hwa Kim follows the story of Ewha as she grows up and learns more about life, relationships, and herself. The story is told primarily through innuendos Ewha learns and has explained to her by her mother. She has her first crush and her first period. The story is told very eloquently and sincerely.
I was initially annoyed that the story had so much innuendo. I don’t, personally think, it is a good way to learn about sex and puberty. Then I learned that it was initially written by Kim for adults in Korea. In an email to Dr. Annette Goldsmith from Dr. Kyungwon Kon, assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Kon writes, “The author believes that it is important for adult males, especially guys with patriarchal values, read a story like this, because they do not understand women well and therefore do not treat women properly. Mothers, especially in Korean culture, sacrifice so many things for her family, and often guys do not realize that their moms also have desires, and they want to be loved like Ewha’s mom, and they were once a blushing girl who is like a flower.”
This story is told so beautifully and with such sentiment that I would be comfortable recommending it to any teen. I do think that it should be read in conjunction with more detailed and straight forward information about puberty and sex, or after a teen already understands more about it. The books makes things like, a first period, seem delicate and almost beautiful, it would be a nice counter to the harsh reality of the uterine line sloughing itself painfully off. 5P 4Q ( )
  Anna.Nash | Jun 10, 2013 |
Set in Korea, this "manhwa" (Korean for graphic novel) tells the story of Ehwa and her development as a young girl into a young woman. Raised by her widowed mother, this story is an empowering tale of a young girl and her mother and their self-discoveries. This book is beautifully told with the assistance of illustrations that paint the beauty of each season and the changes those season bring to the earth, and to Ehwa. Topics involving puberty and sexuality were surprising and may be shocking to some, but overall, this title which is the first part of a trilogy will enchant graphic novel fans into a tale of first love, and the emotions that follow. ( )
  estradav | Jun 10, 2013 |
Situated in Bucolic Korea, the coming of age story of Ehwa is presented to the reader in the engaging format of a graphic novel. After the death of her father, Ehwa faces difficulty as her mother transitions to a widow who must be the sole provider. Ehwa assists her mother with running a local tavern. The scorn of neighbors and customers become a contention for Ehwa's family life, but she manages to stay strong as she focuses on friendships and the possibility of love.This book was amazing! The illustrations were captivating and the written content was engaging. I personally believe all young adults would appreciate this work.
Quote:
"No matter how beautiful it adorns itself, no butterfly will land on its petals even after the last bud has bloomed. That's why the camellia is also a silly flower-It only flowers to have unrequited love." (155)
  tra-fos | Jun 9, 2013 |
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In a timeless village in rural Korea, young Ehwa and her widowed mother live quietly together, best friends and confidantes. With each year that passes, Ehwa blossoms into a young woman as the spring rains bring a new glow to the verdant landscape around them. More changes come with the spring: a chance meeting with a young monk stirs new emotions in Ehwa's heart, and a mysterious artist becomes the first man to catch her mother's eye since Ehwa's father died. As Ehwa discovers love and desire for the first time, her mother learns to open her heart again.… (more)

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