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The Name Jar

The Name Jar
Author: Yangsook Choi
ISBN 13: 9780440417996
ISBN 10: 440417996
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Dragonfly Books
Publication Date: 2003-10-14
Format: Paperback
Pages: 40
List Price: $7.99

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.

Children's Literature

Unhee is the new girl in school. She and her family have just arrived and she feels scared and alone. Unhee can speak English very well, but she is worried her classmates will not be able to pronounce her name. Unhee decides she must choose a new American name for herself, much to her parents' dismay. Unhee's Korean grandma has given Unhee her name stamp. Her classmates think this is a wonderful possession and they envy her. Unhee discovers that the symbol on her stamp means grace. Unhee also discovers what her new name will be. Her classmates and neighbors know Unhee is looking for a new name and make many suggestions, placing their ideas in a name jar. Unhee faces her classmates and tells them she loves the names they have selected for her, but her decision has been made. Choi's beautiful art enhances her depth of the characters and adds warmness to this problem faced by so many children¾that of fitting in and being accepted. 2001, Alfred A. Knopf, $18.99 and $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer:Sue Reichard