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The Name Jar [Kindle Edition]

Yangsook Choi
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.70
You Save: $2.29 (29%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she?

Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it—Yoon-Hey.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-On the way to her first day of school, Unhei is teased by the children on the bus for her Korean name. When she reaches her classroom and is asked her name, she tells her classmates that she has not yet decided on one. To be helpful the children put their suggestions into a "name jar." Eventually the girl decides to keep her own name as one of her classmates takes pride in the new Korean nickname he has chosen, Chinku, meaning "friend." The round, red imprint of the Korean character for Unhei's name provides the graphic manifestation of the story's theme. Attractive golden endpapers feature random repetitions of the stamp imprint interspersed with her classmates' handwritten suggestions on scraps of torn paper. The bold, bright paintings that illustrate the story are realistic, warm, and appealing. Unfortunately, the text sags under the weight of its mission to describe how it might feel to immigrate. A well-meaning and visually attractive effort, but uninspired.

Dorian Chong, School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 4-8. Unhei has just come with her family from Korea and is starting school. Her name is pronounced Yoon-hye, which means grace, but she feels awkward about it after some teasing on the school bus. She decides to choose an American name, and her classmates oblige her by filling a glass jar with their suggestions. Her mother reminds her that she and her grandmother went to a name master for Unhei's name, and Unhei practices stamping her name with the beautiful name stamp her grandmother gave her. Finally, Unhei decides to keep her own name, and one of her classmates even has a stamp made for himself with the Korean characters for friend. The paintings are mostly in gold and earth tones, and the figures have both stature and simplicity--as does the story. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 2535 KB
  • Print Length: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (October 30, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,612 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! April 1, 2008
I love this book because it reinforces the idea that people have a right to their given names and that they have a right to expect people to learn how to pronounce them. I work with many Chinese, Korean and Japanese students and it is common for these kids to feel the obligation to change their name, allow teachers and students mispronounce them if they do use their given names, and their parents often tell them to get used to it rather than teaching them to assert themselves and expect people to learn how to pronounce them. If the child feels that they have a right to their name, the keep it, teach people how to pronounce it and feel better about themselves. If they change it, the given name still pops up on paperwork, people still mispronounce it and they are always trying to hide it away before it pops up again. Accepting your name and teaching people how to pronounce it, provides people with empowerment and a sense of some control over their lives. It helps a lot in the acculturaltion process.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Yangsook (Rachel) Choi has written AND illustrated another illuminating book. Unhei has moved from South Korea with her family to America; she has brought her clothes, bags, and a name "chop" stamp from her grandmother. Her schoolmates cannot pronounce her name on the bus, so she doesn't reveal her name to her classmates. Is it good to be different? Should she embrace her difference? In America she can still eat seaweed and kimchi; she can shop at Kim's Market and Fadil's Falafel. But maybe a name of Amanda, Miranda, Daisy, or Tamela would be better than Unhei (Yoon-hye). The kids at school put name suggestions in a jar on her desk, but on the day she will choose her name, the jar has disappeared. Who took it? What will Unhei decide to do? Did Mr. Cocotos her teacher have a hand in this? Will all the kids want to choose a new name? A must read for every elementary school.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi February 7, 2002
Excellent piece of literature that addresses the emotional impact of change. The Name Jar pulls at the core of American assimilation and a loss of individuality to appease the intolerance of differences. Unhei must adjust to a new country, culture, school, and classmates, while she finds the transition from Korea to America difficult.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet March 19, 2008
By elfdart
i enjoyed this book. i was in the book store one day and it caught my eye so i flipped through it, and i'm glad i did. its about a little girl who comes from korea and moved to north america. she goes to school and doesn't want to tell the class her name because it is different, so she says she doesn't have a name, so her classmates make a name jar for her and put in names that she can use. then she gets a letter from her grandmother who is still in korea saying how much she loves her and in the letter was a seal with her name on it. after getting this she is once again proud of her name and goes back to school and tells her class mates her real name and what it means (i apologize if i got some of the details mixed up it was a while back that i read it). this book was a tear jerker for me. i'm not korean, nor have i had major problem with my name (though people often mispronounce it when reading it), but the struggle for the acceptance of one's self and one's own difference in comparison to others is something we all go through, and this story successfully displays that struggle and overcoming that struggle in a simple way. i think its a good way to get children to understand that though they are different, they will be accepted by someone, and opens them up to other cultures at the same time. worth the read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Clutching the small wooden block with the characters of her Korean name carved into it, Unhei worries about being accepted and fitting in at her new school and new country. When she finds that the children have difficulty pronouncing her name, she decides to pick a new American name. Sensing her difficulty in choosing a name, Unhei's classmates create a name jar with suggestions for her. Finally, with the help of a new friend, she not only chooses a name that reflects her heritage and culture but also inspires her classmates to better understand cultural differences and similarities.

Yangsook Choi's charming story and illustrations explore issues of assimilation and cultural duality faced by immigrant children and their American classmates. It could well serve as the basis for classroom discussions of these issues and would be a welcome addition to class libraries.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Unhei is starting school in America. Although she has a lovely Korean name that means "grace," she thinks maybe she would like a more American sounding name. Her classmates make a name jar and offers suggestions. This story is affirming of the multicultural experience. When Unhei complains about her name, saying that she doesn't want to be different, her mother counters, "You are different, Unhei....That's a good thing!" Choi superbly illustrates her own story. The characters, though simply painted, have expressive faces.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blending cultures November 16, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I chose this book to introduce my children to literature written about Korean culture in America. We love the parallels to our life- a Halmoni living far away, a young girl nervous about school and fitting in with her classmates, and especially that the title character shares her Korean name with my daughter! This story crosses cultural differences to embrace the concepts of family love, friendship, cultural sensitivity and self esteem. What a wonderful story!The Name Jar
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Difficult read for a first grader but we read it together. Story was just so-so.
Published 3 days ago by S. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Most enjoyable!
Published 13 days ago by catcollector
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great read
I read this to my class and they loved it. You know a book is good when the kids sneak it off the desk to read and I have to make a list on who is next to get it!
Published 26 days ago by sharon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book!
Published 1 month ago by Angelgirl
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Too long for a read-aloud.
Published 1 month ago by Judith K. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars such a beautiful book. my daughter and I just love it
such a beautiful book. my daughter and I just love it. I bought more books for presents for our friends, and their kids love this story
Published 1 month ago by Maja
5.0 out of 5 stars Great item! Great transaction
Great item! Great transaction!
Published 1 month ago by carol n.
5.0 out of 5 stars My twin 9 year-olds loved this story and I really like the message...
My twin 9 year-olds loved this story and I really like the message about difference being just fine. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Misha
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
:) great
Published 2 months ago by A. Gift For You
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy two / great gift idea for classroom
Adorbs book. Perfect for the K-1 grade reader in your life. I recommend buying two at this price and giving one to your favorite teacher for his / her classroom. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mrsbill
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More About the Author

Yangsook Choi grew up in Korea and moved to New York City to study art. She was selected as one of the most prominent new children's book artists by Publishers Weekly. She has written and illustrated many children's books. Her books have received several awards, including the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award.
She currently resides in New York City.

When she is not creating, she loves to meet and play with children in her community and around the world.
The local children in a shelter, the mountain children in the Himalayas, the Bedouin children in the Arabian desert, the orphans in flooded Cambodia, and the North Korean defector children are among her greatest teachers.

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