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When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park

When My Name Was Keoko (original 2002; edition 2003)

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

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77315111,948 (4.04)8
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
Tags:Japanese, Korea, WWII, family

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


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Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
This chapter book was riveting. I liked the way the author used point of view. Keoko and Tae-yul showed different aspects of Koran life. Early in the book, Keoko mentions she is to be seen not heard, which provides how women were supposed to act in Korean culture. Switching point of view provided multiple view on the war itself. Tae-yul eventually went to fight for the Japanese; whereas, Keoko firmly kept her Korean culture. The next aspect I enjoyed about the book was the genre of historical fiction. I learned that Japan invaded Korea. That was something I had not known about WWII. I also liked that Keoko kept a diary, which was a symbol of the freedom she craved, “You burn the paper, but not the words. You silence the words, but not the thoughts. You kill the thoughts only if you kill the man. And you will find that his thoughts rise again in the minds of others - twice as strong as before.” This has become one of my favorite quotes in a novel. The message of this book was that even though people are oppressed they are still human and have valuable thoughts and feelings even if no one wants to acknowledge that fact. ( )
  KoraRea | Sep 30, 2016 |
A good book, I really liked how it was written, and the perspective it took. ( )
  Shadow494 | Jun 20, 2016 |
I liked this book for two reasons. First, two different first-person point of view makes the reading more interesting. In the book, there are two side of stories one from sister sun-hee and from her brother tae-yul. While they are living in same age, they are treated differently only because of their gender. Sun-hee not being told an important issue while their dad told it to tae-yul gives strong impression how boys were more valued back then in Korea. Second, this book pushes readers to think about how it feels like to losing their nationality. Along the story, Japanese makes Korean to lose their language, their history, their words, their flags, their national tree, and even their names. It reminds the readers how cruel the Japanese were and how we should not forget what they have done and how everyone should value their nationalities no matter what. ( )
  ykim31 | Mar 16, 2016 |
I absolutely loved this book. It was a quick read, yet it really took a lasting toll on the readers. I saw insight into the life of a Korean girl during a huge war. I found this book to be suspenseful, riveting, and emotional. It is perfect for young readers who are looking for a book with different perspective. It is told in two perspectives, a brother and sister, so it is a good choice for either gender. The main idea of this book is to show readers how life was during the war for a Korean family and what troubles they encountered during their fight for freedom. ( )
  rleary2 | Mar 7, 2016 |
Throughout the book, the author keeps the theme of hope and bravery when a girl named Sun-hee and her family struggle to hold onto their culture during the Japanese invasion of Korea during World War II. In my opinion this book is a must read for both elementary aged school children and adults for three reasons. First, the language of the book is captivating. The author is constantly drawing the reader in and leaving the audience wanting more. For example, when Tae-yul takes off on a deadly mission to be a kamikaze, he goes in with a plan, but we are left hanging on to his last words without knowing what it is. Also, Sun-hee uses beautiful imagery in her poetry to express to the audience her feelings when writing in her diary. For example, when she describes what it feels like to have her words ripped up by the Japanese, is absolutely beautiful. The next reason why this book was a must read is the organization of the book. Because this text is historical fiction it does follows the events of the war accurately, but the way those events affected her family helps guide the readers through their journey. For example, the way Sun-hee’s uncle is such a presence in her life and then is suddenly gone without a trace, really plays into the heat of the war. Without having to say it, the author explains how the bad the war has gotten and how it directly affects those at home. The events that the author has chosen to mention in the book brings the reader through all the lows and highs of the family as they fight to keep their identity. Lastly, the writing the author used keeps the readers well engaged. For example, only knowing what the parents allow them to know about the war is a crucial part of the book. This is because it keeps us as readers guessing and waiting till the end. Will the uncle come back? How did Tae-yul die?
  jhunt6 | Mar 5, 2016 |
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To my children: Sean and Anna

and for my parents:
Eung Won/Nobuo/Ed
Joung Sook/Keoko/Susie
First words
"It's only a rumor," Abuji said as I cleared the table.
Last words
(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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:36 -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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