Hurt You

Regular price $ 19.99

by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

Blackstone Publishing

5/16/2023, hardcover

SKU: 9798200758098


With echoes of Marieke Nijkamp and Jason Reynolds, acclaimed author Marie Myung-Ok Lee's stunning YA homage to Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men tells the tragic story of a Korean American teen who fights to protect herself and her neurodivergent older brother from a hostile community.

Moving beyond the quasi-fraternal bond of the unforgettable George and Lenny from Of Mice and Men, Hurt You explores the actual sibling bond of Georgia and Leonardo da Vinci Daewoo Kim, who has an unnamed neurological disability that resembles autism. The themes of race, disability, and class spin themselves out in a suburban high school where the Kim family has moved in order to access better services for Leonardo.

Suddenly unmoored from the familiar, including the support of her Aunt Clara, Georgia struggles to find her place in an Asian-majority school where whites still dominate culturally, and she finds herself feeling not Korean "enough." Her one pole star is her commitment to her brother, a loyalty that finds itself at odds with her immigrant parents' dreams for her, and an ableist, racist society that may bring violence to Leonardo despite her efforts to keep him safe.

Hurt You is a deep exploration of family, society, and the bond between siblings and reflects the reality that people with intellectual disabilities are far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime, not the perpetrator.

Target age: 12 to 17


"Hurt You reads like something written by a master's hand, a powerful and heartbreaking story that resonates with the force of love and legend." -- Jeff Zentner, award-winning author of The Serpent King and In the Wild Light

"Hurt You is a big, brave story of 'otherness' juxtaposed with 'extreme otherness, ' and friendship under fire. The issues, in their sheer number and intensity, could have been taken over the top by a less accomplished storyteller, but Marie Myung-Ok Lee's protagonist, Georgia Kim, tells it seamlessly. If you're not swept away by Georgia's tough and completely honest loyalty, read the book again." -- Chris Crutcher, award-winning and bestselling YA novelist

About the Author:

Marie Myung-Ok Lee is the author of The Evening HeroSomebody's Daughter, the YA novel Finding My Voice (heralded as the first Korean American own voices novel for teens), and middle-grade novels If It Hadn't Been for Yoon Jun and Night of the Chupacabras. Her books have won awards such as Friends of American Writers, New York Public Library's Best Books for the Teen Age, and NCTE's Children's Choice. She has been a judge for the National Book Awards, a Fulbright Fellow, and one of the few Korean American journalists allowed into North Korea. She currently teaches creative writing as a writer-in-residence at Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity & Race. She has an adult son on the autistic spectrum who helped to inspire her latest novel.