Rising from the Ashes: Los Angeles, 1992. Edward Jae Song Lee, Latasha Harlins, Rodney King, and a City on Fire (Hardcover)

Rising from the Ashes: Los Angeles, 1992. Edward Jae Song Lee, Latasha Harlins, Rodney King, and a City on Fire By Paula Yoo Cover Image

Rising from the Ashes: Los Angeles, 1992. Edward Jae Song Lee, Latasha Harlins, Rodney King, and a City on Fire (Hardcover)

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Award-winning author Paula Yoo delivers a compelling, nuanced account of Los Angeles’s 1992 uprising and its impact on its Korean and Black American communities.


In the spring of 1992, after a jury returned not guilty verdicts in the trial of four police officers charged in the brutal beating of a Black man, Rodney King, Los Angeles was torn apart. Thousands of fires were set, causing more than a billion dollars in damage. In neighborhoods abandoned by the police, protestors and storeowners exchanged gunfire. More than 12,000 people were arrested and 2,400 injured. Sixty-three died.


In Rising from the Ashes, award-winning author Paula Yoo draws on the experience of the city’s Korean American community to narrate and illuminate this uprising, from the racism that created economically disadvantaged neighborhoods torn by drugs and gang-related violence, to the tensions between the city’s minority communities. At its heart are the stories of three lives and three families: those of Rodney King; of Latasha Harlins, a Black teenager shot and killed by a Korean American storeowner; and Edward Jae Song Lee, a Korean American man killed in the unrest. Woven throughout, and set against a minute-by-minute account of the uprising, are the voices of dozens others: police officers, firefighters, journalists, business owners, and activists whose recollections give texture and perspective to the events of those five days in 1992 and their impact over the years that followed.



Paula Yoo is a prolific TV writer/producer, freelance violinist, and author of several books for children, including her award-winning debut YA nonfiction book, From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324030904
ISBN-10: 1324030909
Publisher: Norton Young Readers
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 368
Language: English
Using scores of interviews, direct quotes, news reports, and archival photographs to sculpt this thoroughly researched history, Yoo vividly and movingly conveys the broader historical context and the many lives that were affected, shedding light on systemic challenges that continue today. A nuanced and necessary narrative.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A flowing and compelling narrative.
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)