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Hannah is My Name

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  45 reviews
With Chinese-influenced paintings in jewel-like colors, Belle Yang tells an immigration tale that reflects one of the many facets of the American dream.

Hannah is my name in this new country. It doesn't sound at all like my
Chinese name, Na-Li, which means beautiful.

It's a long way from Taiwan to San Francisco, but Hannah's family has made the journey because they want to ma
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 19th 2004 by Candlewick Press
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  126 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Hannah Is My Name
Written by Belle Yang
Published by: Candlewick Press, Cambridge, MA 2004
Approx. Interest Level: Grade 2-3
Belle provides an episodic view of immigrating to the United States from Taiwan in the 1960’s. This account is largely autobiographical and could be considered dated. The references to Taiwan could be seen as incorrect, and some of the characters involved in the story are extremely stereotypical, which create confusing messages about Taiwan, Chinese people, and immigration. Al
L13_F Sandra
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fic
Hannah and her family move from Taiwan to San Francisco, CA in 1967 for a better life. They fill out the immigration papers and anxiously await their green cards so they can stay in the United States, all the while staying on alert so Baba doesn't get caught working without a green card and they get deported back to Taiwan. Hannah grows a whole 2 inches before they finally get their green cards and they are able to celebrate.

This book was listened to on Tumblebooks in English. Tumblebooks also h
Megan Leslie
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rdng-350
Hannah is a good name, but it doesn't sound very Chinese. Observe the challenges and worries Hannah and her family face during their efforts to become American citizens. I enjoyed this story simply because of the family factor. No matter how stressed or worried the Lin family became, they never gave up hope on receiving their green cards. I would use this in my classroom to discuss the importance of accepting all people no matter what race they may be. I would want to create a safe, happy enviro ...more
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love reading this book with my daughter about a Taiwanese family who immigrates to the US in the late 1960s. A great opportunity to talk about why so many people want to come and live here, the opportunities there are for those who want to work hard and the joy of achieving those dreams. This is an important message to impart to the next generation and a reminder, that everyone -- everyone -- has roots stemming from other countries.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read Belle Yang's Angel in Beijing a while back, and I am officially a major Belle Yang fan. This book is stunning to look at and tells a great story about a Taiwanese family that moves to San Francisco and has to wait for green cards. Very moving and written from a 1st grader's perspective. I loved it.
Tessa Duncan
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When Na-Li and her family move to the United States from Taiwan, she is put into an unfamiliar culture. In the United States she has to learn a new language, take on a new name (Hannah) and her family has to worry about green cards. This is a suspenseful tale that tells the reality of immigration and the anxiety that comes with waiting to be a legal citizen or obtain a green card.
Brianna Kazmierzak
This would be an excellent book to use if there are new students to the class. The story explains the life of a girl who has moved from a different country, and she has to get acclimated to a new life and a new language. This story could help students in the class build an understanding of what a new student may be going through.
Maddy Rigsby
I think is a great book to read to upper elementary students. The story starts out with Hannah getting her new name coming to the United States. The story follows the struggles and high points of coming to the United States as an immigrant. This would be a great book to read during a lesson on other countries.
Mikaela Fu
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This book talks about the journey a family takes as they are adjusting to life here in America. The family faces many hardships and struggles but are able to overcome them.

Lexile Measures- 800L
Guided Reading- N

Six Traits plus One- Presentation, Word Choice and Sentence Fluency
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: immigrants, childrens
I've read this book many times and it gives me all the feels each time.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
There are certain things I like about this book, and certain things I dislike. I haven’t decided one way or the other yet...
Paulinh Lim
This book tells an inspiring and capturing story of a girl and her family entering the United States. This book is alluring yet suspenseful. With a new name, a new school, a new language, a new life, this story gives a whole new outlook of what it feels to be like a foreigner. I loved reading this book because I kind of saw myself in her; a little girl that’s finding her way into the lost crowd and eventually finding herself. I loved how this book provided a story with a clear picture and enhanc ...more
Amy Chong
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hannah is My Name is about a young immigrant girl that has moved to San Francisco from Taiwan. Her parents work hard, and are constantly worried about if they will get caught for not having their green cards. When her mom cries, Hannah tries her best to cheer her up. At once point in the book, the door man helps them hide from the police. Hannah and her parents eventually gets their green cards in the mail and can now live without worrying. This book goes with my Asian Immigrant topic because th ...more
Jaimie Hong
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hannah's family moves from Taiwan to San Francisco in 1967 in hope for a better life. As soon as they arrive, they are told to go to Chinatown to fill out immigration papers so they could mail it out and receive their green cards. While waiting for their green cards, Hannah's mother gets fired because her boss found out that they did not have a green card. However, Hannah's father got hired at a hotel because he saved someone's life and because he had an "honest face". Hannah's father's boss sai ...more
Erica Cowhick
Oct 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
Hannah is from China and her Chinese name is Na-Li which means beautiful. Her family came to America and plan to stay and make it their home. Hannah struggles with the fact that it is not easy to become an American if you are not born here. This book talks about all the different struggles that the family faces when they arrive in America. The family must recieve green cards in order to have jobs to ensure inspectors that make surprise visits. Hannah is in first grade and is in the process of le ...more
Mike Romesburg
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book reminded me so much of "My Name is Yoon." This story was very helpful for me as a growing teacher, but I am not entirely sure I would read it in class. Throughout the story, Hannah and her parents are very nervous about getting their green cards and on the lookout for the men in uniforms, who try to find immigrants without the cards. This could be confusing to students who do not understand what green cards are, and although this can be discussed, I'm not sure if it is the best thing t ...more
I liked this book, but it was long for a read aloud. I liked that it showed how a illegal immigrant felt while waiting for their visa. It had a child talk about it, which made it feel like less of an adult topic. I especially liked the scene where they got their green cards, and they were blue. I also liked the scene where they were running away from immigration people. I would use this book to talk about illegal immigration.
Interest Level
Grades 3 - 5
I love Belle Yang's book Hannah is My Name. The gouache illustrations are vivid and emotional, and the text is descriptive, honest, and heartfelt.

The book's opening line reads, "Hannah is my name in this new country. It doesn't sound at all like my Chinese name, Na-Li, which means beautiful." Yang writes the fictionalized immigrant story of the Lin family's journey from Taiwan to San Francisco in the United States in 1967 and the family's joys of living in a nation where "we will be free to say
Tiffany Askins
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hannah has just moved to a new country, new home, and new neighborhood. A lot of things are new, but she realizes that her parents have moved to America to have a better life. As Hannah adjust to her new surroundings, she is trying to adjust to her new name too. She takes the reader on a journey into her new world. Eventually Hannah embraces her American name while still cherishing her Taiwan name, Na-Li. This is just a fun book that I love to read. Typically I read this book at the beginning of ...more
Julie Esanu
Like many immigrants, Na-Li and her parents move from Taiwan to San Francisco in search of freedom and fair treatment. One of the adjustments she must make is getting used to her strange new name-- Hannah--and a new language. Hannah and her parents eagerly and anxiously await their green cards, which will allow the family to remain in the United States and open the door for new opportunities. A lovely book about immigration, family, perseverance, and opportunities, based on author's Belle Yang's ...more
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asian-american
The ever-desired "American Dream." For many families it is way out of reach. Hannah Lin thought it would be for her family as well. Having studied immigration I understand this anticipation and worry. Life is supposed to be better here, a chance for success and all dreams coming true. To anxiously wait for the moment when you can continue those dreams is paralyzing. Yang expresses her anticiapation upon her family's arrival to the United States from Taiwan. The illustrations make this anxiety an ...more
Rachel Moulton
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: text-set
Hannah, also known as Na-Li in her home country Taiwan, comes to American with her mother and grandfather in hopes for a better life. They want to have freedom and opportunities. Hannah's family applies to get green cards to stay in America. Her family lives in fear that they will be caught living in America without permission, and they struggle to have enough money to survive. Will her family get their green cards and be able to stay in America? Will Na-Li adjust to life in America and come to ...more
Lisa Vegan
The illustrations are beautiful and the story is heartfelt and educational too. But, the story is autobiographical about a girl from China who moves with her parents to San Francisco in the mid-late 1960s. I found this especially interesting since I was a teenager in San Francisco during that period. But, even though the immigration experience is timeless, I do wonder if today’s young kids would find it as interesting. I loved history when I was a kid so maybe so. I guess it’s just that I expect ...more
Beth Schencker
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: multicultural
A pleasant story about a Taiwanese girl who has moved to United States. The story follows Hannah and her parents starting a new life in San Francisco. The family applies for green cards but must wait a long time. After a few years, the family is given their green cards. "It is pale blue, not jade green like I expected. I think they should have called it a blue card, but maybe they just ran out of green paper this year". Now their new life can finally begin!
This book depicts the true hardships immigrants face while trying to become citizens and even after becoming citizens. I really liked the story line, however, I was not a fan of the illustrations. It was difficult for me to understand the time period until I came to the page where the students were told MLK had just been assassinated. But, I definitely liked that the story gave light to the process of becoming citizens.
Brent Rogers
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: transitional
Hannah's family wants to make America their new home. Baba tells his daughter that in America, people are free to say what they think and children can grow up to be whatever they choose. Hannah is living in a new home and starting at a new school. hannah is also learning a new language.The family is waiting for their green cards to arrive throughout the book. I would use this book when discussing immigration.
This story is age appropriate for younger students. The plot of the story is very thick and realistic. Within the story there is a problem and resolution that is centered around new beginnings, change, and adjusting. The context of the story allows students to connect, generate questions, and consider a range of thoughts. It touches on the subject of migration which represents an element of that cultural group. The characters do this appropriately as well as the images.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great children's book written by an Asian-American author based off of her own immigrant experience. Important book for young children to learn about immigration and accepting those who may seem different.
Karelle Royal
This story tells about the experiences that an immigrant girl Na-Li faces when her family moves to the United States.
Great first day/first week of school book.
Good to use to teach about adapting to a new environment.
Teaches about the fears that student immigrants face when they have to move to new country.
Can be used to teach students about being brave and strong.
S/S: can be used with a lesson about cultures around the world.
Excellent book for ELL students.
Girl power.
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"My Chinese name is Xuan, or "Forget-All-Sorrow." It is also Chinese for "lily of a day," notes Belle Yang. "If life spans a mere day, why spend it in worry?" Indeed, the author-illustrator of HANNAH IS MY NAME recalls a seemingly worry-free childhood in Taiwan and Japan, where she "doodled and fiddled around with words and discovered they were her life."

Now an author and painter, Belle Yang has