The Many Meanings of Meilan
Why this book?
This story made me reflect on and appreciate the power of names. Twelve-year-old Meilan moves with her family from Boston’s Chinatown to Redbud, Ohio for a fresh start. When the principal insists on changing her name to Melanie, she starts to question her name and its meaning. Her nickname, Lan, has many meanings in Chinese and she tries to fit into all of them: basket – to carry the burden of her family’s stress; blue – to reflect her mood; and mist – to be invisible at school; before cherishing her name’s true meaning: beautiful orchid.