NS-Christine Johnson's Reviews > My Name Is Yoon

My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits
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's review
Oct 27, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: realistic-fiction

Yoon is new to the United States. Her family is from Korea. Before she starts school, Yoon's father teaches her to write her name in English. Yoon doesn't like the way it looks. She likes the way her name looks "happy" in Korean. She talks about how "the symbols dance together". In Korean her name means Shining Wisdom. Yoon likes the Korean way better. Her father reminds her that her name will still mean Shinging Wisdom, but she needs to learn to write it in English.

On Yoon's first day of school, the teacher writes "CAT" on the board. Later she gives Yoon a piece of paper with the name Yoon on it, and tells her to write her name on the empty lines underneath it. Yoon wrote "CAT" instead. She wrote "CAT" on every line! The teacher shakes her head and asks Yoon, "So you are a CAT?" A girl in class giggles.

Yoon wants to go back to Korea. She tells her parents it's better there. Her father says "America is your home now." Will Yoon learn to like the way her name looks? Will she learn to like her new home?

This is a charming story about a little girl that is struggling to adjust to life in America. All students will be able to identify with Yoon because of her lively imagination, and they will empathize with her struggle to find herself in this new place.
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message 1: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth I think Yoon is also struggling with her languages as well. I absolutely love the way she works through her feelings, and how she prefers the Korean letters and writing. The author does a nice job of allowing the reader to see a glimpse into the feelings of a second language learner in the U.S.

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