The Name Jar

40 pages

English language

Published Oct. 14, 2003 by Dragonfly Books.

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3 stars (1 review)

After Unhei moves from Korea to the United States, her new classmates help her decide what her name should be.

5 editions

Cute, but a Few Issues

3 stars

I reread this today to see if it'd work for my English lessons, especially since I work with Korean kids who occasionally like to see books about other Korean people. One of them reminded me that this book exists.

And then I realised I don't like it as much as I previously did. Before, I thought it was a nice way to introduce kids (particularly to the idea of microaggressions and how refusing to pronounce someone's name correctly can hurt them). It's also an exploration of a Korean girl who decides to keep her name, rather than taking an 'American' one (in this instance, as many East Asian people often get pressured into taking European names because of the perceived difficulty of saying their names).

I still like that, but I feel like the author and editor needed to re-read it again. The book is primarily about how non-Korean people …