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When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park
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When My Name Was Keoko (original 2002; edition 2003)

by Linda Sue Park, Norm Lee (Narrator), Jenny Ikeda (Narrator)

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568None17,413 (4.12)8
Member:Mstear1
Title:When My Name Was Keoko
Authors:Linda Sue Park
Other authors:Norm Lee (Narrator), Jenny Ikeda (Narrator)
Info:Recorded Books (2003), Edition: Unabridged, Audio Cassette
Collections:5th-6th Grade Readers, 3rd-4th Grade Readers, Multicultural Books, International Books, Historical Fiction, Chapter Books, Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Japanese, Korea, WWII, family

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When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park (2002)

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I enjoyed reading this chapter book. One aspect I enjoyed about this book was the fact that it is about an underrepresented event in history. While I read this story, I was learning about this conflict between Korea and Japan for the first time. I found it truly incredible to be able to learn so much about this event through a primary narrative text. Also, I enjoyed the fact that the story was told from both the brother’s and sister’s perspectives. It was very interesting to see how boys and girls at this time had very different views on the same ideas. The main message of this book is that family is very valuable and something we should hold near and dear to our hearts. ( )
  kjacob9 | Apr 7, 2014 |
“When My Name Was Keoko” was not one of my favorite books because of the plot. The reasoning behind this for me was there wasn’t much suspense throughout it at least not at the begging which for me, as a reader is very important. I need something to grab me and keep me interested. This didn’t happen till I was almost to the middle when the uncle was leaving. There also wasn’t much of an internal conflict with the main two characters most of the conflict was external. For me as a reader I like to see the character face a personal struggle. I will however say that the writing style was very engaging in the way that the author switched perspectives and when we assumed that the brother was dead his perspective all together disappeared from the book. I would say that the main point of this book is that over time horrible things come to and end but don’t forget to stand for what you believe in. ( )
  KiTiraShorter | Mar 11, 2014 |
In my opinion this was a great book that held my attention throughout the reading. I liked this book because it offered two different perspectives. The first perspective was Keko the sister, who is also know as Sun-hee, and the other prospective was her brother Tae-yul. Each chapter alternates between the two perspectives. I liked this feature, because it is almost like two different stories in one. Another feature I like about this book was how it offered insight into the Korean culture and provided examples, such as the meanings of names in Korea, and samples of the writings the children has to learn in school. The main idea of this book was to offer insight on the Korean perspective during WWII. ( )
  CassandraQuigley | Mar 10, 2014 |
Overall I enjoyed reading “When My Name Was Keoko”, the writing style was unique and the book was very informative. I really enjoyed that the chapters were written from two different perspectives, it made reading the book over a period of time easier. I would stop after Sun-hee's part so when I began reading again, Tae-yul's part would refresh my memory of what was happening. I also liked how Park explained the U.S. Soldiers and then compared them to U.S. Rice, “-- thin grains rather than the round stubby ones we were used to.” (p. 172). This book taught me a lot about the history and culture of Korea too, after page 34 I wished I had written smaller on my Venn diagram. The most interesting part to me was when Kanji was being explained between the father and Sun-hee. I think the big picture of this book was to expose the reader to what it would be like to be a Korean at that point in time. ( )
  CatherineWillett | Mar 8, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book for the power of its story. I enjoyed its detailed descriptions of what life was like for the Korean people. The book reminded me a lot of the forced assimilation of the American Indians. One such detailed description was when the Japanese ordered the Korean’s to take Japanese names and to cut down all the Rose of Sharon trees. I also liked how the book described the Korean people’s perspective of the Japanese occupiers. I felt that the book truly captured the Korean perspective of being mistreated and abused. The message of the book was a historical recollection of how the Korean people were treated and how they felt about it. To me the message was not to make the mistakes of our ancestors by being discriminatory and intolerant. ( )
  Madams21 | Mar 8, 2014 |
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Dedication
To my children: Sean and Anna

and for my parents:
Eung Won/Nobuo/Ed
Joung Sook/Keoko/Susie
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"It's only a rumor," Abuji said as I cleared the table.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440419441, Paperback)

Inspired by her own family's stories of living in South Korea during the Japanese occupation in the years preceding World War II, Newbery Medal-winning author Linda Sue Park chronicles the compelling story of two siblings, 10-year-old Sun-hee and 13-year-old Tae-yul, and their battle to maintain their identity and dignity during one of Korea's most difficult and turbulent times. In alternating first-person chapters, they relate their family's troubles under the strict fascist regime. The Kim family is stripped of their cultural symbols, only permitted to learn Japanese history and language, and forced to convert their names to Japanese. Sun-hee, now Keoko, struggles to reconcile her Korean home life with her Japanese school and friends, while Tae-yul, now Nobuo, attempts to convert his growing anger into a more positive passion for flight and airplanes. Both are worried for their uncle, whom they discover is printing an underground Korean resistance paper. When Sun-hee inadvertently puts her uncle's life in danger, she sets in motion a chain of events that results in her brother volunteering as a pilot for the Japanese near the end of WWII. While Sun-hee and her parents wait in breathless uncertainty to hear from Tae-yul, the war rushes to a close, leaving Korea's destiny hanging in the balance. This well-researched historical novel is accompanied by a thoughtful author's note that explains what happened to Korea and families like the Kims after WWII and a bibliography to entice interested young readers into learning more about a topic largely unknown to American audiences. (Ages 10 to 14) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:36 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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