When My Name Was Keoko

By Linda Sue Park,

Book cover of When My Name Was Keoko

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

1 author picked When My Name Was Keoko as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I grew up in Europe and have heard and read much about World War II in Europe. But I did not realize how similar this was to life in (South) Korea under Japanese occupation. This book was an eye-opener for me, told in two voices – Keoko and her brother who are both given Japanese names and can no longer speak their own language. A gripping novel that makes a good read, even for adults.

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