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A Piece of Home

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  489 ratings  ·  120 reviews
A child-friendly story about the trials and triumphs of starting over in a new place while keeping family and traditions close.

When Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. His eyes are not big and round like his classmates’, and he can’t understand anything the teacher says, even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly at
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  489 ratings  ·  120 reviews


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Danielle
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Captivating storytelling. This book packs so much emotion and action into so few words. Plus, it left me teary. It beautifully captures the way adapting to a new place is positive and satisfying, but the sadness of having left never disappears.
Niki Marion
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I wish the publisher had bought a manuscript by an actual immigrant.
Angie Thompson
This is a well-done, poignant look at the immigrant experience from a child's point of view. I loved the balance between the initial difficulties and the eventual settling in and between new friends and old memories. Perfect for children. :) ...more
Ann
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A strong Korean American picture book about the immigrant experience. The text is a little awkward in parts, but Hyewon Yum's illustrations are pitch perfect. A book to share. ...more
Sunah Chung
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A study showed when bilinguals reading multicultural picture books, they find out culturally related images easily. A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts and Hyewon Yum reminded me of the study.
A Piece of Home tells a story of Korean student whose family moved to West Virginia from Korea. The protagonist boy, Hee jun, is an ordinary student like other students in classroom in Korea. Like other boys, he is active and playful boy with big smile. However, after moving into West Virginia because of his fa
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Eliza L.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
After moving from Korea to America Hee is having a hard time adjusting. There is no one that he connects to. After a few months he starts to learn English and make friends. One day he discovers a piece of home while at a friend’s house. This book is recommended by the Virginia Readers Choice.
This book can help students learn to empathize with other students who move from another country. Teachers could use this book to teach their students to help new students adjust and learn from each other.
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Sara
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
"A Piece of Home" is a story about a family moving from their homeland Korea to America. It tells of the struggles the children have as they learn a new language and become accustomed to their new way of life.

I gave this book 4/5 stars. I did enjoy this book and I can see how it can be a wonderful read for all students. I do however wish the book spoke more of how the children overcame their frustrations and fears. In the story, the characters simply grew into their old way of life with some re
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Annette
A PIECE OF HOME by Jeri Watts tells the story of a young boy who moves from Korea to West Virginia and his struggles to fit in.

When his father accepts a job in West Virginia, Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to a strange new world where people speak and act differently. However, he soon begins to assimilate and feels increasingly comfortable in his new home.

Librarians will find this picture book to be an excellent addition to their growing collection of books focusing on immigration. Teachers w
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Albert Lee
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A piece of home is a realistic fiction of a Korean boy named Hee Jun. The story beings by depicting Hee Jun's everyday life and how he is similar to everyone else in Korea. One day as he is sitting with his family to eat his dad announces that he accepted a job at a law school in West Virginia. The book then starts to show how Hee Jun notices how different he is from everyone and how he struggles to adjust to his new life. As time passes Hee Jun starts to realize he can speak English little by l ...more
Bailey Towles
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about a family who moves from Korea to West Virginia. In Korea the little boy fits in and has friends and when he moves to the United States he sees himself as different. He says that his eyes are not big and round like everyone else. He says that his classmates names "sit like stones on my tongue." He says that it is very dark in West Virginia and he has to touch his eyes just to make sure they are open.
His grandmother also lived with them in Korea, and moved with them to West Vir
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Olivia Hernandez
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts is a story about a boy and his family moving from Korea to the West Virginia. Hee Jun and his grandmother have a difficult time adjusting to the cultural differences and feeling unordinary during the move. However, as the story goes they begin to learn about the new American culture, english language, and Hee Jun makes his first american friend. With time, they become happy with their new home in America and become a stronger family as a whole.

The major themes in t
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Juana
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marlee Adams
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Summary: A Piece of Home is the story of a Korean family, who has to move to West Virginia for their father’s career and their lives go from extra-ordinary to not so ordinary. The mother of a friend had planted a flower from back home. He is sent home with the flower and the grandmother says “A piece of heaven”, but the boy replies back by saying “a piece of home”.

Evaluation: I enjoyed A Piece of Home because it does give an example of the different cultures in which we encounter through ou
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Lu's Reviews
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book features a young boy who has recently moved to the USA from Korea was really lovely. It presented the boy's concerns (standing out, language barriers, worries about his little sister and grandmother) in a straight-forward and non-schmaltzy way. I really loved the illustrations of the little sister BITING her new teacher out of frustration. It reminded me of Edward's My Naughty Little Sister. Lu had a lot of empathy for the little boy character and was aghast at the little sister ("NO T ...more
Alicia Klepeis
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a (realistic fiction) story of a young boy named Hee Juh whose family moves from Korea to West Virginia. He is struggling...things look and sound different, the language is challenging, his grandmother seems unhappy. The English names and words feel like stones in his mouth. Slowly, he begins to adjust. The illustrations are really lovely. Parts of the text have an emotional impact...but while it is clear that this move is challenging, the problem seems to be solved and things seem bette ...more
Megan Chan
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Category: Diverse

A Piece of Home is about a family who is from Korea. In Korea, he is normal but one day, his father accepts a law school acceptance and they are moving to West Virginia. Suddenly his life is turned around, he doesn't know the language or the culture.

I love the book's illustration. This book really related to me in some way because i moved when i was young to Canada. Though i didn't have any language struggles, it was weird to be in a foreign land that i didn't want to be in. Thi
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Haley
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family-text-set
Lovely book with amazing illustrations. The story speaks the simple version of how an immigrant may feel when coming to America (overwhelmed, confused, upset, doesn't want to be there) and how it feels to be forced into a new culture rather than slowly introduced. He finds a "piece of home" in the form of a flower, and immediately takes it to his grandmother, who is also having a hard time adjusting to their move, and she is pleased. Both she and the main character begin to thrive shortly after. ...more
Lynsy
This is a very heartwarming story of a little Korean boy who has been uprooted and moved to West Virginia for his father's job. Hee Jun struggles to understand his teacher and make friends, but eventually, he and his family get the hang of it after meeting some nice people. It contains a nice melding of cultures, such as when his grandmother sews a flower onto his teacher's wedding dress like they do in Korea. I think this could be used as a good teaching opportunity, and I appreciate the work t ...more
Marissa Dougherty
This Realistic Fiction book is about a little Korean boy who has to leave Korea to move to West Virginia. In the book, he talks about how he was just a ordinary boy in Korea and how when he moved to West Virginia he was considered different. The characters of the story are all of a Korean family: a little boy, his sister, mother, father, and grandmother. The theme is about different cultures and how we may look different but we are all the same.
Alex Furlong
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm very glad I was able to end on such a high note reading this book. Not only is this book very practical for children adjusting to a new life in a new environment, it will also help those prepare to do such things. In very few words, the author is able to capture tons of emotion into the story. Hee Jun and his family move from Korea to West Virginia, and the story tells the way moving is satisfying, but also how the love of the old home will never vanish. ...more
Linda DiGaetano
This is a story of a little boy, Hee Jun who lived in Korea with his parents, sister and grandmother. One day his father came home and explained that he accepted a job in West Virgina. So the family moved across the globe and were not very happy about it. Everything seemed dark to HeeJun. Eventually he began to like his surroundings and his new friends. It took a while but he did adapt to a whole new culture. Nice illustrations. Good life lesson book.
Margaret Boling
4/22/2018 ~~ I especially appreciated that the family immigrating to the U.S. was a professional family with the father taking a university teaching position. The story captured the elementary child's frustration with his struggle to fit in and learn the language. We also saw the change in the grandmother's position, from professional (teacher) to stay-at-home adult who has no language connection. The gardening connections were poignant. ...more
Hannah Atwood
This book tells the story of a family that has recently immigrated from Korea to the US. Everyone in the family, from the toddler to the grandma, is struggling t adjust. However, they are able to find a piece of home in everything around them and learn how to be happy and live a good life in a new environment.
This book would be good for read aloud to primary grades. It could be used to introduce the topic of immigration, as well as the emotion of feeling out of control into your classroom.
Regan Brakebush
This really highlighted how difficult the language barrier can be for young children moving here from abroad. English is such a difficult language to learn and even though many Koreans learn some English in school, the children in this story are too young to have learned any. The children struggle and miss Korea terribly until they finally start to feel like they fit in and find their favorite flowers, which make their new home feel a little like their old one. It was sweet.
Laura
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Hee Jun's father gets a new job, the entire family moves to West Virginia. The children and grandmother have a hard time adjusting to their new life. Little by little, they learn English and make friends. I especially love that this book shows that adults, not just children, might also have a hard time in a new place. The illustrations are sweet and calming while showing the frustration, anger and sadness, hope and satisfaction that Hee Jun and his family experience. ...more
FM Family
This one was ok. It's interesting and shows a lot of important pieces of a migration story - the grandmother feeling isolated, the youngest kid acting up, the older kid feeling he can't connect with people until he has his words. It's got a nice thread of a plant connecting the family back to their home country and culture. Something about it just didn't grab me overall, though. Somehow in the balance of exciting vs evocative it just didn't come out strongly on either side for me. ...more
CHIAO-YIN LO
As I read this book, I think Hee Jun's situation is similar to me. Although studying in the USA has always been my dream. But as I came here, I also faced many difficulties. All I faced was a brand new circumstance. And my families are far away from me. Luckily, I met many kind friends and teachers here in YSU. They helped me a lot. Just like the teacher who helped Hee Jun in the book. I am glad that at the end of the book, Hee Jun and his families, especially is his grandma and sister got used ...more
Monica
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
An ALSC Notable Children’s Book in 2017, A Piece of Home, written by Jeri Watts and illustrated by Hyewon Yum, is a realistic depiction of a family leaving a beloved home, and crossing the world to move to a completely new one. In A Piece of Home, Hee Jun and his family leave Korea and settle in West Virginia for his father’s job. As one might imagine, Hee Jun, and his family members, including his younger sister and grandma, grapple with leaving their home, and the struggle to feel normal and u ...more
Emily
This is a heart touching story about a family that had to move to a different country. It is challenging for them since they are used to their culture at home, and the surrounding around them. This is a great book for your students who have just gone through a move, big or small. It is encouraging in the fact that it's hard and that's okay, but it will get better. ...more
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Jeri Watts has worked as a public school teacher for twenty-seven years. She has written numerous short stories as well as the picture book Keepers. Kizzy Ann Stamps is her first middle-grade novel. Jeri Watts lives in Virginia, where she is a professor at Lynchburg College.

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