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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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70313513,474 (4.03)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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I did not like this book at all. It was not interesting to me and the emotions didn't really come to me during any part of the book. The plot of this book was not interesting and was so confusing with the name changing, different Japanese laws, etc. I understand that this was a part of someone else's life and probably was tragic for them, however the way the book was worded was not a good read for me. It seemed like the words were a little bit more difficult for me to understand because I don't know much about Korean or Japanese language such as "Nobuo", I did not know how to pronounce any the words that were said in the book, besides some of the ones that were stated in the beginning. I guess the big picture of this book was just to tell the story of the authors' past and share the events that happened to her and her family. ( )
  BrianaFries | Oct 6, 2015 |
In my opinion “When My Name Was Keoko” by Linda Sue Park is a great book. It educates readers about World War II, when Japan ruled Korea. This book brings up a lot of deep and important topics, such as Tae-yul enlisting in the Japanese army in order to protect their uncle who is suspected of helping the Korean resistance. It also offers a comparison of two different cultures. I would recommend this book for 5th or 6th grade readers. This may be a very eye-opening book for students at this age, who may have never considered in-depth topics like what it would be like to be stripped or your culture. ( )
  swarnk1 | Oct 6, 2015 |
I liked this book for a couple of reasons. I think that the language was very appropriate and descriptive for a chapter book. The book was an easy read for me and I think older students (5-7th grade) will feel the same. I also enjoyed the characters in the story. Keoko was very realistic in her mannerisms. This family is one that some students can relate to and find similarities in their own family. Some of the hard times that this family goes through are very realistic.
  sbanke1 | Oct 6, 2015 |
I had mixed feelings while reading this book. This book tells the story of a family during the occupation of Korea by Japan. The story alternates from the daughter and the son of the family. Though this book teaches many lessons, it should not be a required text to read in school. Most books I've read about World War II have talked about the war's affect on the US, but this book shows the war from a whole other perspective.The most enjoyable part of this book was the fact that, every chapter, it switched from Sun-hee's point of view too Tae-yul's point of view. This made the book more interesting because you would read about things from both people's point of view. Reading a book like this allowed me to have a deeper understanding of some themes, problems, and lessons, such as fighting against discrimination. I liked the wayPark was extremely descriptive, allowing me to see the characters, and feel the hardships of the Kim family. Even on the first page, one of the main character's personalities is shown. "I wasn't supposed to listen to men's business, but I couldn't help it...the longer I stayed in the room, the more I heard." This shows the character Sun-hee, and the ways she wanted to know information. I highly recommend this book to young adult readers because it is truthful, teaches lessons, and is a good read. ( )
  AmellDubbaneh | Oct 6, 2015 |
At first, I thought I wasn't going to like this book. I thought it was confusing to remember the korean words used like "Omani for mom" or "Abuji for dad." Once I was into the first five pages and the confusion stopped was when I started to like the book. I liked how there were two narrators told at first person point of view. They would each talk about a subject that they remembered and would tell their own side of how they remember it, what they see in people, their own personal feelings about something. The characters Tae-Yul and Sun-hee were also very well developed. Tae-yul was SunHee's older brother. Both were the narrators. Sun-hee was a curious 10 year old, who was smart and respected her familiy. Tae-yul was 18. He felt angry towards the war and did something about it. You knew what each character would be feeling about something or someone because of a thought or conversation they had with someone. For example, Tae-Yul wanted to become a kamakazi. At this point in the story, Tae-yul was such a well delveloped character, the reader knew why exactly he was doing what he said he was doing because of prior knowledge the author had given us; Tae-yul loved planed. Overall, this book shows kids how much the whole world was effected during WWII and sheds light to what other people in other countries other than Germany were suffering. ( )
  elagoy1 | Oct 5, 2015 |
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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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