In celebration of the 2018 Olympics and Paraolympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, we’ve gathered together a list of books about Korea, the Olympics, and winter sports!

South Korea


The Royal Bee by Frances Park

(Children + PZ7.P21977 Ro 2000)

In the days when only wealthy Korean children are allowed to attend school, a poor boy named Song-ho learns by listening outside a schoolroom door, which eventually earns him a chance to better himself and make life easier for his widowed mother.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

(Children Picture Book + CHOI)

After Unhei moves from Korea to the United States, her new classmates help her decide what her name should be.

Where’s Halmoni? by Julie Kim

(Children Picture Book + KIM)

Searching for their missing grandmother, two Korean children follow tracks into a fantastic world filled with beings from folklore who speak in Korean. Includes translations and information about the folkloric characters.

The Firekeeper’s Son by Linda Sue Park

(Children Picture Book + PARK)

In eighteenth-century Korea, after Sang-hee’s father injures his ankle, Sang-hee attempts to take over the task of lighting the evening fire which signals to the palace that all is well. Includes historical notes.

A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts; illustrated by Hyewon Yum

(Children Picture Book + WATTS)

When Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia he struggles to adjust to his new home. He can’t understand anything the teacher says, and even the sky seems smaller and darker. Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. One day at a classmate’s house he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea: mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon. Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a “piece of home” in their new garden.

Chapter Books

Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi

(Children PZ7.C44626 Ye 1991)

A young Korean girl survives the oppressive Japanese and Russian occupation of North Korea during the 1940s, to later escape to freedom in South Korea.

Echoes of the White Giraffe by Sook Nyul Choi

(Children PZ7.C44626 Ec 1993)

Fifteen-year-old Sookan, the heroine of Year of Impossible Goodbyes, adjusts to life in the refugee village in Pusan, a city in a southern province of Korea. The Korean War is raging, and Sookan has again been separated from her father and older brothers. She continues to hope that the civil war will end and her family will be reunited in Seoul. Her immediate concerns, though, are those of any teenage girl: friendships, studies, and most of all, a first romance.

A Gathering of Pearls by Sook Nyul Choi

(Children PZ7.C44626 Ga 1994)

Sookan struggles to balance her new life as a college freshman in the United States with expectations from her family at home in Korea.

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

(Children PZ7.P24 Si 2001)

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters’ village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park

(Children PZ7.P24 Wh 2002)

With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.

Olympics and Winter Sports

Picture Books

The Mud Flat Olympics by James Stevenson

(Children PZ7.S84748 Mu 1994)

At the Mud Flat Olympics if the animals don’t win the Deepest Hole Contest, the All-Snail High Hurdles, or the River-Cross Freestyle, they can still come to the picnic after the games and have ice cream for dessert.

Babar’s Celesteville Games by Laurent de Brunhoff

(Children Picture Book Lg BRUNH)

Babar’s children have all grown up. He and Celeste take them to the Celesteville Games. All the best animal athletes will be there to compete. Babar’s daughter Flora falls in love with a young athlete, Corriander, from the country of Mirza. They decide to marry and all of Celesteville is invited.

Hans Brinker by Bruce Coville; illustrated by Laurel Long

(Children Picture Book + COVIL)

A Dutch brother and sister work toward two goals, finding the doctor who can restore their father’s memory and winning the competition for the silver skates.

Chapter Books

Toad Rage by Morris Gleitzman

(Children PZ7.G4824 Tor 2004)

Determined to understand why humans hate cane toads and to improve relations between the species, Limpy embarks on a dangerous trek from his swamp to the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

(Children PZ7.J156 Ro 2015)

“A funny and inspiring graphic novel about friendship, girl power, and RRRR-ROLLER DERBY!” — Provided by publisher

Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed; illustrated by Barbara McClintock

(Children PZ7.O118 Twe 2012)

From the first ice, a thin skin on a bucket of water, through thickly-iced fields, streams, and gardens, a girl, her family, and friends anticipate and enjoy a winter of skating, ending with an ice show complete with costumes, refreshments, and clowns.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

(Children PZ7.R333 Gh 2016)

“Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.” — Provided by publisher