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Hannah is My Name Hardcover – August 19, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–A girl describes her family's journey from Taiwan to the United States in 1967, explaining that she must give up her Chinese name, Na-Li, and adjust to her unfamiliar American name. Hannah relates how she and her parents try to adapt to a new way of life, observing the strange customs that they encounter and detailing the obstacles that they all must face. They immediately apply for green cards, a process that demands an interminable wait. Yang draws a parallel between Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of freedom and Hannah's family's quest for equal opportunity, but the narrative deals primarily with Mama and Baba's efforts to secure legal status and work. The significance of the green card, what immigrants must do to find employment, and the portrayal of the immigrant community's support for newcomers are all neatly presented. The setting–San Francisco with its skyline, bridges, hilly streets, and Chinatown–as well as elements of Chinese culture are nicely evoked in both the text and artwork. Engaging gouache illustrations comprised of vivid colors, dynamic perspectives, and stylized figures in two-dimensional views reflect the influence of the block print. Pair this autobiographical tale with Helen Recorvits's My Name Is Yoon (Farrar, 2003), a book that touches on similar themes about being a stranger in a strange land.–Marian Creamer, Children's Literature Alive, Portland, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. In an upbeat immigration story, Yang draws on her own experience of coming to America from Taiwan at age seven in the late 1960s. The bright gouache pictures of San Francisco draw strongly on Chinese and American traditions, with geometric cutout shapes depicting people crowding the streets, at school, and at the workplace--all from the child's viewpoint. This story isn't about missing the old country or being a stranger, and most people are friendly. Hannah learns to sing "This Land Is My Land," and she reads Curious George in Woolworths. The tension is in the threat of deportation as the family waits for green cards that will allow everyone to live freely in the U.S. Mama and Papa work, but they hide from the officials who come to check their papers; Hannah's friend's family is sent back to Taiwan. The struggle with documentation and the celebration when the green cards finally arrive in the mail is a drama many immigrant families will recognize. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (August 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763622230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763622237
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,220,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first thing you'll notice about this book is the artwork. Like "Always Come Home to Me" the colors and lines seem to float over the pages; it's that vivid. They brightened my daughter's eyes as we turn page after page never stopping until we've reached the end.

The story itself is an honest one. Hannah is a cute little girl from Taiwan who with her two parents tries to assimilate to the US -- not unlike the many immigrants before her. I won't spoil the story but I will say I am thoroughly pleased this story is told and I feel my daughter will be better for it.

I can't recommend this wonderful book enough. Get it and you'll treasure this book for years to come.
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Format: Hardcover
In this evocative children's tale of a Chinese family's arrival in California, Belle Yang traces her own roots. The Yangs came to this country from Taiwan when she was a young girl. As the author and creator of the the luscious color illustrations, the author has done a marvelous job of combining image and language. The story, set in San Francisco, conveys the pervasive uncertainty that colors the immigrant experience yet ultimately gives readers a story of triumph, as Hannah and her parents make their way in purusit of the American Dream. This is a children's story that is perfect for the whole family. Its message has never been more timely, nor more universal.
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Format: Hardcover
Not only is this book brightly illustrated depicting the action, but the story is captivating, suspenseful. Those children who have immigrated to the US will relive their history and all other children will be given a vivid insight to how it is to be a foreigner in this land. I highly recommend this book to school librarians and to parents who want their children to empathize with immigrant children. Furthermore, it's a story that helps us all appreciate how fortunate we are to live in this country even with its imperfections. The setting in San Francisco is an additional plus.
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