Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Chapter 17

By An Na

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Chapter 17


  • Young Ju's thinking about all the times when things didn't go their way—in fact, she's thinking that nothing ever goes their way, like the nice suburban houses on a hill that they haven't been able to move to (even though Apa says "We shall see").
  • Which reminds her of Harry, a baby bird she and Joon tried to save.
  • (By the way, this story doesn't end up happily for Harry, so if you can't stand bad things happening to animals, turn away now.)
  • Joon is the one to find Harry, but both Joon and Young Ju feed Harry to keep him alive.
  • They don't tell their parents; instead, they treat Harry like they think good parents would.
  • And Harry grows, quickly even.
  • But then one day Harry just dies, which breaks their hearts, Joon's especially.
  • The kids bury Harry on the hill they've been hoping to live on.
  • Young Ju considers praying for Harry as part of the burial, but Joon's not down with that because he doesn't think God's done anything for him, so Young Ju just says something short and respectful for Harry.
  • Young Ju's crying, but Joon's just really silent.
  • Then Joon finally speaks: "'I love you, Harry'" and then "'It never happens the way we want. Never.'"

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