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Living past memories

Book: The Golden Orchard by Flora Ahn

Ages: 8+

Relationship to country: Many parts of this book are inspired by the author, Flora Ahn's, Korean culture

Book in a nutshell: A young girl named Maya discovers she can travel through time through food


In this book, a girl named Maya lives with her grandmother and her mother. Her grandmother loves to cook with Maya. Maya makes patbingsu with her grandmother, which is a kind of Korean sno cone. While they are eating them, her grandmother pulls on her arm and they travel back through time. When they travel back through time, they go to a scene where a dad and a daughter are playfully fighting over eating a patbingsu. The descriptions are very vivid, and you feel like you in Maya's mind watching everything. Maya travels through time several times with her grandmother, learning more about her Korean culture.

On one of her time traveling journeys, Maya meets a boy named Jeff. Jeff is also a time traveler, but he can break into other people's memories. Jeff shows Maya the golden orchard, where each tree represents all of a person's memories. I don't want to give anything else about the book away, but if you enjoy fantasy and mystery, I think you will like this book. 

I have a funny story to tell about this book. One day, when I was listening to my Harry Potter audiobook, I got a notice from Audible about a new book called The Golden Orchard. I thought it looked interesting, so I asked my mom if I could download it and check it out. She said yes. I downloaded it and listened to it several times during quarantine because I really enjoyed it. Then just a few days ago, I was listening to it again, and my dad noticed the author's name on the book. He said, "I think I know the author!" He texted his friend Flora Ahn to see if she wrote The Golden Orchard. And she did! I got to talk to her on the phone, and I had the chance to ask her a few questions about the book.

One of the questions I had was why Maya could not change things when she traveled through time. Flora told me she thought it would be too confusing for the reader if history was always changing. She also told me about her other books, Pug Pals, which are funny illustrated books about her pugs. I had the chance to compliment her on this very cool book, and she said it made her really happy to hear from one of her readers.