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My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River
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My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Jorge is trying to learn the ways of his new country. He wants to fit in at school, but he doesn't want to forget his homeland, Mexico. His family is still doing things like they're in the old country, but Jorge wants to find out everything he can about his new country--on the other side of the river. Learning a new language, getting a library card, taking tests, and makin ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by WordSong (first published September 1st 1999)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  158 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A lovely collection of poems told from the viewpoint of a young monolingual Spanish speaking boy newly arrived from Mexico as he navigates and integrates his way into an English speaking school.

Jorge's distate at the mispronunciation of his name, "my teacher makes it sound like a sneeze" to his joyous experiences leaping down the halls on the way to see a language specialist, we feel what Jorge feels and share his emotions. The reader will be just as deflated as Jorge is when reading the cruel
Dr. Laura Meyers
Check out the poem "T-Shirt" (in English & Spanish). It's a wonderful tool to use when discussing multiple perspectives and the importance of names, cultural nuances, respect, etc. ...more
Anna Schlesinger
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm335

"My Name is Jorge" is a simplistic, but powerful story for grades 3-5 told through poems both in English and Spanish. Jorge has arrived at a new school in the United States where everyone is now calling him George, which makes him upset. Jorge thinks school is very different than it was in Mexico and doesn't understand why he is considered dumb now. He talks about the judgment he feels from people because of his ethnicity; Jorge just wants to fit in. Jorge starts to become friends with a b
Lizeth Matzir
My Name is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River, by Jane Medina and illustrated by Fabricio Vanden Broeck, is a bilingual book consisting of poems about a boy named Jorge and his life after immigrated to the US. He goes through many hardships, which are depicted in the poems, many of which undocumented immigrants go through. After arriving in the US, there are many situations he goes through which constantly remind him of his journey across the Rio Grande. Different scenarios are portrayed in the p ...more
Jan 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: culture, poetry-rhyme
My writing class in college read one poem from this book about Jorge's feelings when people were calling him George instead of his actual name. The poem held deep meaning for me and I need to remember to finish reading it, but the activity we did with it was one that I thought was beneficial for teachers who use this book. One of my classmate's views was that people mispronouncing his name made Jorge feel smaller, and we began sharing some of the things or times in our lives when other people ma ...more
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
The story of a young Mexican immigrant named Jorge, who does not like that his classmates and teachers call him George. His experiences are related through poems - each told in Spanish and then English. This would be a great teaching tool on differences and might be a great resource when working with ESL students.
Christie Suh
very good bilingual book (spanish and english). There are different excerpts with Jorge as the narrator. He explains how he feels about coping to a new country.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Good poems about a boy who is the same wherever he goes and in this case on both sides of the river. He
Melia Bents
With Spanish on the left and English on the right, this book of short poems tells a story about a boy named Jorge who has recently moved to a new country. He struggles with many things that other students do not and the reader gains a new perspective on what this might feel like from the shoes of Jorge. He encounters frustrations, friendships, discoveries, and unfamiliarities, but in the end, he must return home. Age level: 3rd grade and up. I would use this book in the classroom to discuss the ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This book consists a collection of poems about a boy named Jorge who's trying to figure out his way in America as he learns English and gets familiar with the new world around him. Jorge's journey talks about how people keep mispronouncing his name and not being able to speak English makes life at school harder than it should be. Through the midst of confusion and conflict, Jorge still finds joy when he makes new friends.
The genre of this book would bilingual poetry fiction because it is writte
Heather Lugar
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: edrd-390
This is a collection of poems about a boy living a life in a new country. The poems are both in Spanish and english. One of the poems is about the boy's name is Jorge but people call him George. He does not like being called George. This could be a great book to discuss the importance of names. ...more
Patience Temple
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The importance of a name.
Sarah Brandt
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is in both English and Spanish. The book is a collection of poems written about Jorge, and from his perspective, and his life in America.
Camryn Kerrigan
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
- Poems in both English and Spanish
- Shows perspective of how children feel when they move to a new country
- Helps teachers get practice and insight (doesn't have to be shared to class)
Karen Witherite
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
-poems in english and spanish.
-good for kids that are from mexico or other countries
-jorge is from mexico
-names are important!!

Rachel Moore
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book has poems listed in English and Spanish.
The first poem reminds us the importance of names and how they shouldn't change.
Hannah Wesson
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
full of poems in English and Spanish. Students can see both languages.
Talks about new life in a new country.
Lauren DeVore
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
-poems in English and Spanish
-Jorge is from Mexico
-As a teacher, good to think about your own practice, make sure everyone's name is pronounced correctly
Courtney Byrer
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
English and Spanish
Fitting in
Family Practices of different cultures
Struggles of a new life and a new country
Importance of names and culture
Reflects on own practices of teaching
Kayla Parker
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
-walks reader through experiences of what it is like for people traveling from south america to the US
-has poems written in Spanish and English which would be beneficial for EL students
Rebecca Caufman
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Written in verse that contains the poems in both Spanish and English tells the tough story about a 6th grader's year in American before he returns to Mexico. ...more
Seth Schleicher
Book Title: My Name is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River
Author/Illustrator: Jane Median
Reading Level: J

Book Level: 4.3

Book Summary: Jorge is a young boy that is new to this country from Mexico. He loves his home country and doesn’t want to forget his family traditions. Jorge struggles with all that he must learn for his new life in a new country, especially the struggle of being called, “George.”

Bookshelf Mentor Writing Traits:

Sentence Fluency: Unpack more about Jorge’s feelings about moving t
Olivia Evans
Dec 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Plot Summary: My Name is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River is a story about a little boy who recently left his homeland of Mexico to travel to his new home in America. While reading this well written collection of poems, Jorge describes his struggles in adjusting to the new world: being in an unfamiliar place, learning English, not fitting in anywhere and no one will pronounce his name correctly. Although Jorge focuses on the faults at first, making new friends and discovering the value in his ‘ ...more
Liliana Solorzano
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this poetry book about a young boy who tries to fit in her in America but also does not want to forget his motherland. This book does a great job of describing how Jorge felt about being in a new place with a totally different culture than his. He describes feeling invisible and just not welcomed. I think this book would be a very good read for kids in that they will ask many questions on the whole immigration topic. Jorge describes his challenges of wanting to fit into the American cultu ...more
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Genre: Fiction, Poetry


Topic: immigrant children; assimilation; beginning a new school; finding friends

Theme: friendship; identity; the struggle between adapting and maintaining your cultural heritage;

Use: Read Aloud, Independent reading

Reading Level: Late early/early transitional

Illustrations: There are almost no illustrations. The few that exist are black and white images of characters from the poem.

Literary Elements: Poetry


My Name is Jorge is a collection of poems. The poems
Maria Salazar
This poetry book is about a Mexican boy named Jorge who has moved to a new country, and he is having trouble adjusting. Throughout the book, Jorge explains how he was considered a smart student in his school in Mexico, but at his new school on the other side of the river he receives C', D's, ad F's. In the story, Jorge faces many challenges such as learning a new language, getting a library card, takings tests, and making friends.
This book relates to my immigration topic because Jorge mentions
Gerardo Rodriguez
This story talks about a boy named Jorge who finds himself torn between two lands. He wants to adjust to his new home in America, but is still tied to his heart and life in Mexico. He remembers the days and times where everything in Mexico seemed to make sense, but now he is having to adjust and accommodate for a new culture and a new home. It can be difficult for ELL students, especially immigrant students, to find themselves being in the same situation where they feel they are torn between two ...more
Ana Romero
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My Name is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River is an amazing book of poems about a young boy who is excited about learning about his new country but does not want to let go of his homeland in Mexico. I thought it was interesting that one of his major concerns was his name. Names are an important part of a person and if educators do not take the time to learn how to pronounce names it can be devastating to children who might think they are not important. It is an interesting read that would allow c ...more
Feb 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: latino-latina
A bilingual poetry book, My Name is Jorge on Both Sides of the River, depicts a young boy’s difficult transition into life in America and into an English speaking school. Once at the top of his class in Mexico, Jorge is now struggling to fit in and feeling less-than welcomed by his teachers, his classmates, the librarian, and even the city streets. The poems seem very true to life, reflecting the feelings of a young boy in words that an elementary student might use. This book offers many lessons ...more
Romilia Human
Medina, J. (1999). My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River . Honesdale: Wordsong Boyds Mills Press Inc.

Subgroup: The changes/struggles of being a new immigrant in the US

Genre: Poetry

How it relates to the Latino cultural: Little Jorge explains and tells his struggles of being a new immigrant to the United States. There are different things that changed when he immigrated, and he feels out of place.

Synopsis: These collections of poems are told from Jorge’s point of view, and each of them show
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