Skip to main content

Young-Hee and the Pullocho

Review

Young-Hee and the Pullocho

YOUNG-HEE AND THE PULLOCHO is a fantasy set in Strange Land, a fantastical world that is located under a Korean parking garage. The main character, Young-Hee, inadvertently discovers Strange Land one day while playing in her apartment’s parking garage in Korea. Strange Land is full of a wide variety of interesting characters, including those from Korean folklore and mythology. Young-Hee enjoys her visit to Strange Land so much that she returns, bring her brother with her. However, that is when things go terribly wrong --- Young-Hee loses her brother to a goblin for a year. However, Young-Hee strikes a deal with the goblin and agrees to go on a quest to find the mythical pullocho root. If Young-Hee can find the pullocho, she can secure her brother’s freedom.

Author Mark James Russell does an incredible job with descriptive language; readers will want to reread the descriptions of the landscape, characters and events simply so they can enjoy the sentences a second time.

Like most quests this one will be long and difficult. Along the way, Young-Hee is faced with many obstacles, but she also encounters helpful characters and picks up two traveling companions. The story is somewhat predictable when it comes to the quest trope, but it doesn’t end exactly as I thought it would.

Author Mark James Russell does an incredible job with descriptive language; readers will want to reread the descriptions of the landscape, characters and events simply so they can enjoy the sentences a second time.Another one of my favorite elements of YOUNG-HEE AND THE PULLOCHO are the folktales that Russell sometimes shares at the end of a chapter. I also enjoyed learning about the mythical Korean creatures/characters throughout the book.

However, the story is marked by a number of typos/grammatical errors throughout. All books have these issues, but this is to a noticeable extent. I also felt that YOUNG-HEE AND THE PULLOCHO had an abrupt ending and some loose plot points, such as Young-Hee’s missing father.

All in all, readers who enjoy fantastical worlds and mythical creatures will enjoy reading YOUNG-HEE AND THE PULLOCHO, as will readers who like folklore rewrites or mash-ups. 

Reviewed by Aimee Rogers Teen Board Member on May 19, 2015

Young-Hee and the Pullocho
by Mark James Russell

  • Publication Date: May 12, 2015
  • Genres: Fantasy, Youth Fiction
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 0804844976
  • ISBN-13: 9780804844970