Books Kids Fiction When My Name was Keoko

When My Name was Keoko

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/54/22/19/_images-1356931970.jpeg
 
0.0
 
4.0 (1)
452   0
Age Range
10+
Release Date
April 17, 2012
ISBN
978-0547722399
Buy This Book
      
Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them — even their names — are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

User reviews

Average user rating from: 1 user(s)

Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
For those of us who drug our feet during history class, read Linda Sue Park’s When My Name Was Keoko. Her tale of Japanese invasion in Korea during the Second World War really explains the importance of history.

Keoko tells a story of Korean history that I don’t think is often told. This of course comes with the caveat that I am no history expert, but I can’t recall ever hearing of this important bit of history. Park depicts a decade during World War II in which Japan occupied Korea and sought to decimate Korean culture. The Korean language could not be spoken, Korean could not be written, and anything to do with Korean culture was strictly forbidden.

The Japanese went so far as to make all Koreans change their names to a Japanese name, leading to the title of Park’s work. Sun-hee, Park’s Korean main character, changes her name to Keoko, and along with her brother Tae-yul tells the tale of the decade-long struggle to keep whatever bits of Korean heritage alive that they could. This is a very moving book, but what affected me the most was Park’s depiction of how this occupation forever altered the presentation of Korean history. So much of the Korean culture was destroyed and so many of the artifacts that represented it were wiped out, leading to a huge gap for many Korean families in mapping out their heritage. Furthermore, many of the Japanese abuses against Koreans went undocumented, giving a sense of falsity to this troublesome time that Koreans truthfully lived. It just goes to show how important history truly is, and how easily manipulated it can become.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Jason Gallaher, Editor Reviewed by Jason Gallaher, Editor January 02, 2013
Last updated: January 02, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (106)

Altering History

For those of us who drug our feet during history class, read Linda Sue Park’s When My Name Was Keoko. Her tale of Japanese invasion in Korea during the Second World War really explains the importance of history.

Keoko tells a story of Korean history that I don’t think is often told. This of course comes with the caveat that I am no history expert, but I can’t recall ever hearing of this important bit of history. Park depicts a decade during World War II in which Japan occupied Korea and sought to decimate Korean culture. The Korean language could not be spoken, Korean could not be written, and anything to do with Korean culture was strictly forbidden.

The Japanese went so far as to make all Koreans change their names to a Japanese name, leading to the title of Park’s work. Sun-hee, Park’s Korean main character, changes her name to Keoko, and along with her brother Tae-yul tells the tale of the decade-long struggle to keep whatever bits of Korean heritage alive that they could. This is a very moving book, but what affected me the most was Park’s depiction of how this occupation forever altered the presentation of Korean history. So much of the Korean culture was destroyed and so many of the artifacts that represented it were wiped out, leading to a huge gap for many Korean families in mapping out their heritage. Furthermore, many of the Japanese abuses against Koreans went undocumented, giving a sense of falsity to this troublesome time that Koreans truthfully lived. It just goes to show how important history truly is, and how easily manipulated it can become.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Category: Kids Fiction
Tori Porter is best friends with her mom, and most of the time it’s awesome. Not many girls have a...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
London's Youngest detective is back . . . Darkus Knightley, tweed-wearing, megabrained, fiercely logical thirteen-year-old investigator of the weird, was...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
When Ari’s mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
A boy hunter, the president of the United States, and a terrorist plot converge to create an original and thrilling...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
For the most part, aspiring screenwriter Jack Bell is just your typical Midwestern kid. He’s got a crush on his...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Evie is living on borrowed time. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer several months ago and told that by now...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Skillfully blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, award-winning Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith chronicles the story of...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Music, Discovery, Love. Can one summer make the difference of a lifetime? Zahara is a loner. She's brilliant on the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
A bulldog and a poodle learn that family is about love, not appearances in this adorable doggy tale from New...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young sorceress's entire life has been shaped to destroy the empire controlling her world. She could change history. But...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kevin_Brooks_TheBunkerDiary.jpg
This is the winner of the 2014 Cilip Carnegie Medal. Room meets Lord of the Flies,...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after...
 
3.3
 
3.3 (1)
Quake_Pulse Novel_.jpg
Fans of I Am Number Four and The Maze Runner will clamor for Quake, the climactic...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Forced to obey her master. Compelled to help her enemy. Determined to free herself. Nalia is a jinni of tremendous...
 
3.0
 
4.3 (1)
the sin eater's daughter.jpg
Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Winner of the SILVER MEDAL in the 2014 Readers' Favorite annual International Award Contest—Category YA Paranormal Romance. Ever since she...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
TheFearfulHeart 500x750.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
The heart must be protected at all costs... but will Cassidy be able to afford the price? Cassidy has distanced...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)