They say children become readers on the laps of reading parents. Storytellers, however, are made by much more.
The daughter of a Korean immigrant mother and a white American father, my early childhood was caught between the duality of assimilation and the weight of cultures colliding. My dad read me bedtime stories when he could and sometimes invented his own amazing stories, but by the time I started elementary school, I was slow to pick up reading.
I can vividly remember staring down at pages full of jumbled lines and shapes: the letters made no sense to me as they formed words. I was put into the lowest reading group in first grade, and yet, what couldn’t be seen beyond my lack of reading skill in the beginning, was how hungry I was for stories. Eventually I caught up in school, mastering letters on the page and tests for comprehension, but those skills and tools weren’t why I learned to love stories.