100 books like When My Name Was Keoko

By Linda Sue Park,

Here are 100 books that When My Name Was Keoko fans have personally recommended if you like When My Name Was Keoko. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Bat-Poet

Rebecca Chace Author Of June Sparrow and the Million-Dollar Penny

From my list on to reach for in the middle of the night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer who has mostly written books for adults, as well as plays and screenplays, and June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny is my only book for children (so far). Though I read a lot of adult literature I have never stopped reading children's books. I always keep a "comfort" book on my bedside table for the middle of the night. I think that a really well-written, timeless children's book can teach us, comfort us, and take us on a journey. No matter what age you may be, I hope that you will read these books, or revisit them even if you think you are "too old" for children's books.

Rebecca's book list on to reach for in the middle of the night

Rebecca Chace Why did Rebecca love this book?

I love this book because A) the illustrations by Maurice Sendak are beautiful, and B) It's a story about a bat who stays up during the day, when the other bats are sleeping, and writes poems about what he sees. It's a book for anyone who has ever felt misunderstood, or didn't fit in, and created art out of that experience. I think all writers feel this way, and probably most people at some point no matter what they do or create in the world. It's also a book about friendship, with a bat, a chipmunk, and a mockingbird, and all of the characters are so vivid and distinct. There are also some actual poems, written by the bat, of course, and as you're reading and looking at the incredible line drawings by Maurice Sendak you can see the world the way the smaller animals around us experience the world…

By Randall Jarrell, Maurice Sendak (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Bat-Poet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A combination of prose and verse for children, complemented by illustrations.


Book cover of The Capybaras

Margriet Ruurs Author Of Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

From my list on childrens books that everyone should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been devouring books for most of my life. When I was young, I read Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be just like her – strong, free, and independent. Through books I learned about other people in other countries, times, and circumstances. I have been writing books for a long time (I wrote 40) and work in (international schools) with teachers and students on their writing. From specific stories, readers learn universal wisdom. Many books written for children should be everybody-books! Books, more than any other medium, can help you to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins'. The books I picked to share with you all do this.

Margriet's book list on childrens books that everyone should read

Margriet Ruurs Why did Margriet love this book?

With very few words, this story shows the importance of helping others. Life in the chicken coop is safe and predictable. Until one day the capybaras show up. They are large and noisy and the chickens were not expecting them and don’t really want to share their coop with them. But it’s hunting season and so the chickens allow them to stay. The adults stay away from each other but two little ones make friends and one even saves the other one’s life. Suddenly having strangers live among them, is good rather than bad. A beautiful tale with many undercurrents…

By Alfredo Soderguit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Capybaras as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and the New York Public Library

"Purely exquisite."-Kirkus (Starred)

For kids ages 4-8, a charming and hilarious tale about capybaras: the beloved animal sensation capturing children's hearts!

Hens and their chicks love their warm, snug home. Life is simple and comfortable in the chicken coop, where everyone knows their place and worries are far away.

Until one day, when the capybaras appear.

To the hens, the capybaras are too big, too wet, and too hairy. They don't even follow the rules! But it's hunting season, and the capybaras need somewhere safe…


Book cover of The Library of Ever

Margriet Ruurs Author Of Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

From my list on childrens books that everyone should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been devouring books for most of my life. When I was young, I read Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be just like her – strong, free, and independent. Through books I learned about other people in other countries, times, and circumstances. I have been writing books for a long time (I wrote 40) and work in (international schools) with teachers and students on their writing. From specific stories, readers learn universal wisdom. Many books written for children should be everybody-books! Books, more than any other medium, can help you to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins'. The books I picked to share with you all do this.

Margriet's book list on childrens books that everyone should read

Margriet Ruurs Why did Margriet love this book?

This is a fun read about a girl who ends up at a very special library. It’s fantasy yet realistic... a bit Harry Potter-esk in its magic as well as an exciting page-turner about evil forces trying to close libraries and block the path to learning. But the best part is the questions that the librarians get asked are real questions. You think you know the answer but you soon learn how important it is to do research and double-check. As I was reading, I googled and discovered the problems are real ones with unexpected answers. I learned so much! And if you like the first book, there’s a second book too!

By Zeno Alexander,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Library of Ever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

With her parents off traveling the globe, Lenora is bored, bored, bored - until she discovers a secret doorway into the ultimate library. Maze like and reality-bending, the library contains all the universe's wisdom. Every book ever written, and every fact ever known, can be found within its walls. And Lenora becomes its newly appointed Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian.

She rockets to the stars, travels to a future filled with robots, and faces down a dark nothingness that wants to destroy all knowledge. To save the library, Lenora will have to test her limits and uncover secrets hidden among its…


Book cover of Ban This Book

Margriet Ruurs Author Of Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

From my list on childrens books that everyone should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been devouring books for most of my life. When I was young, I read Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be just like her – strong, free, and independent. Through books I learned about other people in other countries, times, and circumstances. I have been writing books for a long time (I wrote 40) and work in (international schools) with teachers and students on their writing. From specific stories, readers learn universal wisdom. Many books written for children should be everybody-books! Books, more than any other medium, can help you to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins'. The books I picked to share with you all do this.

Margriet's book list on childrens books that everyone should read

Margriet Ruurs Why did Margriet love this book?

I love that Alan Gratz, a skillful storyteller, takes the important topic of banning and censoring books for children, and shows its dangerous side effects from a child’s point of view. We meet a well-meaning mother who wants to protect her child from, what she feels, are unsuited books in the school library. But one of those is Amy Anne’s most beloved book. She is not going to let these books disappear without a fight. In a respectful but effective manner she ends up showing the adults the importance of letting children make their own choices. 

By Alan Gratz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ban This Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don't mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. Amy Anne and her lieutenants wage a battle for the books that will make readers laugh and pump their fists as they start a secret banned books locker library, make up ridiculous reasons to ban every single book in the library to make a point, and take a stand against censorship.

Reminiscent of the classic novel Frindle by Andrew Clements, Ban This Book is a love letter to the written word and its power to give kids a…


Book cover of The Long Season of Rain

Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Author Of Mina

From my list on Hell Chosŏn.

Why are we passionate about this?

A couple who have been claimed by Korea—Bruce as a US Peace Corps volunteer there and Ju-Chan as a native Korean and an English teacher—and its culture, society, history, and especially literary heritage. We have been translating modern Korean fiction into English since 1980. Bruce was fated to become involved with Korean literature by virtue of being born on October 9, the day in 1446 when Great King Sejong promulgated (officially announced) the creation of the Korean alphabet, hangŭl, to the people of Korea.

Bruce's book list on Hell Chosŏn

Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Why did Bruce love this book?

The Long Season of Rain (the title refers to the monsoons that afflict the Korean Peninsula at the start of summer) reminds us that in Hell Chosŏn women remain subservient to men in almost every sphere of society, and learn early on to endure silently instead of speaking out. This novel exemplifies the richness of Korean-American young-adult novels, which often focus on coming of age and the quest for identity. Especially poignant is the author’s use of a naïve narrator, the daughter of a woman who learns that her husband has taken a concubine.

By Helen Kim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Long Season of Rain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

When the grey Korean Changma--the rainy season--arrives, eleven-year-old Junehee resigns herself to long months cooped up with her sisters, her mother, and her grandmother. But this year, the Changma brings more than water. Orphaned by a mudslide, a young boy comes to live in Junehee's house--and stirs up long-hidden secrets in her family.

For as the rain drums out its story on the sloped roofs of the village, Junehee's own family story unfolds. And Junehee soon realizes that her mother's sadness is tied to a long-standing tradition that neglects women's dreams--a tradition that Junehee hopes to break free of. .…


Book cover of Pachinko

Kern Carter Author Of And Then There Was Us

From my list on family drama, sacrifice, and how beautifully messy a family can be.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a large family that initially didn’t include my mother or father. My mother made the sacrifice of leaving our island of Trinidad to make a home for us in Canada. She was separated from us for years while my grandparents raised me and my brothers. I think that type of upbringing triggered my curiosity about what a family can be. When I became a father at 18, the question of what kind of family I would build became the central theme of my life. It still is today, which is why stories that revolve around family are so captivating for me. 

Kern's book list on family drama, sacrifice, and how beautifully messy a family can be

Kern Carter Why did Kern love this book?

I loved this book because it shows generations of family sacrifice and how the decisions we make in our lifetime can live on for decades after we pass.

I rushed to read this book every evening and had to pull myself away. It was so amazing to me that this author could weave through years and years of family history in a clear, coherent, and powerful way. 

By Min Jin Lee,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Pachinko as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* The million-copy bestseller*
* National Book Award finalist *
* One of the New York Times's 10 Best Books of 2017 *
* Selected for Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf book club *

'This is a captivating book... Min Jin Lee's novel takes us through four generations and each character's search for identity and success. It's a powerful story about resilience and compassion' BARACK OBAMA.

Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja…


Book cover of Solo Leveling, Vol. 1

Kevin Murphy Author Of First Login

From my list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

LitRPG is special. It really is. LitRPG provides authors with some of the most powerful tools in storytelling. Computer-simulated worlds make magic fully believable. They enable giant mysteries, actual monsters, forbidden treasures, and incredibly diverse adversaries. LitRPG can be a love story or a tale of revenge. It can bring hope, despair, or just desserts. It’s a perfect vehicle for modern fantasy—a setting where the apocalypse can be at hand, where humans can fight gods, and where the world itself might be sentient. My love for LitRPG drove me to write an epic containing a series of huge, underlying mysteries that would reveal themselves over the course of the story.

Kevin's book list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels

Kevin Murphy Why did Kevin love this book?

Solo Leveling (or Only I Level Up), in its webtoon form, is one of the peaks of LitRPG storytelling. The scenes are beautifully drawn, elevating the story beyond its original text-only format. You will be hard-pressed to find a more engaging read than this. The webtoon maintains tension incredibly well, and knows how to constantly supply its readers with little dopamine bombs along the way.

Solo Leveling plays with the formula of LitRPG, taking it off the rails by containing the game system inside the main character for much of the story, allowing him to grow stronger. Reading Solo Leveling is an absolute treat—perhaps doubly so for me as several of the niche ideas used in the story are also used in my books.

By Chugong, DUBU (artist),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Solo Leveling, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The official English print publication of the popular Korean webcomic! E-class hunter Jinwoo Sung is the weakest of them all. Looked down on by everyone, he has no money, no abilities to speak of, and no other job prospects. So when his party finds a hidden dungeon, he's determined to use this chance to change his life for the better...but the opportunity he finds is a bit different from what he had in mind!


Book cover of I'll Be Right There

Diane Lefer Author Of Out of Place

From my list on for recovering erased history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Soon after 9/11, I had dinner with several American scientists worried about how new security measures would affect international collaborations and foreign-born colleagues. Since science rarely if ever comes up in discourse about the War on Terror, that set me off. I’m always drawn to whatever gets overlooked. I was born in one international city – New York – and have lived in another – Los Angeles – for over 20 years. I’ve spent time on four continents and assisted survivors of violent persecution as they seek asylum – which may explain why I feel compelled to include viewpoints from outside the US and fill in the gaps when different cultural perspectives go missing.

Diane's book list on for recovering erased history

Diane Lefer Why did Diane love this book?

I fall hard for novels about intense friendships and loyalty. I’ve never been to Korea, but it was easy for me to relate to the protagonist, Jung Yoon, whose personal growth is influenced by her study of European culture, much as my own immersion in Latin American culture continues to inform my life. 

Here again, a gap in most Americans’ knowledge gets filled in. Shin’s haunting and poetic novel offers a bracing account of the student protests in South Korea in the ’80s, with repression, deaths, and disappearances at the hands of the US-supported dictatorship. The politics are eye-opening, but just a backdrop to the characters’ pursuit of love, friendship, intellectual development, and the tender way they must mourn many other losses as they grow up and apart.

By Kyung-Sook Shin, Sora Kim-Russell (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I'll Be Right There as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Both a coming-of-age story and a love story, I'LL BE RIGHT THERE follows four friends who meet in the 1980s, at university in Seoul. Times are tough - South Korea is still a military dictatorship - and the group cling to each other, falling in and out of love. As they face personal loss and political uncertainty their paths diverge - mysterious deaths occur and secrets are revealed. Steeped in heartache, this novel is a delicate examination of youthful passions, tragedy, and political turmoil Like PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOTHER, I'LL BE RIGHT THERE combines utterly universal, resonant themes with an…


Book cover of China, Korea & Japan at War, 1592-1598: Eyewitness Accounts

Kenneth M. Swope Author Of Dragon's Head and A Serpent's Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592-1598

From my list on the Great East Asian War of 1592-1598.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by this war since I first learned about it in graduate school. It inspired my dissertation, which focused on the Three Great Campaigns of the Wanli Emperor, which in turn resulted in my book, A Dragon’s Head & A Serpent’s Tail.  That book has inspired two sequels of sorts thus far, with another one to come.

Kenneth's book list on the Great East Asian War of 1592-1598

Kenneth M. Swope Why did Kenneth love this book?

This book is valuable because it combines the first-person perspective of Yu Songnyong’s account with deft historical analysis. Craig chooses a number of interesting subjects for his work, including a Japanese Buddhist monk who accompanied the armies, a Korean scholar who became a war refugee, a Chinese doctor-spy, a samurai warrior, and a Korean diplomat. He translates excerpts from their works and adds historical context. This gives readers the opportunity to see the varying views of the belligerents side by side and it also offers a broader perspective on the effects of the war on different levels of the populace.

By J. Marshall Craig,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked China, Korea & Japan at War, 1592-1598 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The East Asian War of 1592 to 1598 was the only extended war before modern times to involve Japan, Korea, and China. It devastated huge swathes of Korea and led to large population movements across borders. This book draws on surviving letters and diaries to recount the personal experiences of five individuals from different backgrounds who lived through the war and experienced its devastating effects: a Chinese doctor who became a spy; a Japanese samurai on his first foreign expedition; a Korean gentleman turned refugee; a Korean scholar-diplomat; and a Japanese Buddhist monk involved in the atrocities of the invasion.…


Book cover of The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation

Viren Murthy Author Of The Politics of Time in China and Japan: Back to the Future

From my list on profoundly understanding modern East Asian thought.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in East Asia through studying Kung Fu when I was in high school. Through this I began reading translation of Chinese and Japanese philosophical texts. I initially majored in philosophy but eventually also became interested in situating ideas in broader historical contexts. For this reason, I shifted to intellectual history. However, my passion for philosophy and arguments for the validity of ideas remains. For this reason, my work combines both intellectual history and the history of philosophy. 

Viren's book list on profoundly understanding modern East Asian thought

Viren Murthy Why did Viren love this book?

JaHyun Kim Haboush passed away in 2011 and was a leading historian of Korea. Her book, The Great East Asian War was published posthumously with the help of her husband, William Haboush’s editing. Although I do not work on Korea, I found this book extremely helpful in understanding the premodern roots of Korean nationalism. Haboush argues that Koreans began to get a sense of national identity when Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea in 1592-1598. She carefully shows how this sense of nation emerged by focusing on language and other symbolism. I teach this book in my East Asian History class and students find it both informative and enlightening. In some ways, it supplements Wang Hui’s discussion of early modernity in China.

By JaHyun Kim Haboush,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Imjin War (1592-1598) was a grueling conflict that wreaked havoc on the towns and villages of the Korean Peninsula. The involvement of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean forces, not to mention the regional scope of the war, was the largest the world had seen, and the memory dominated East Asian memory until World War II. Despite massive regional realignments, Korea's Choson Dynasty endured, but within its polity a new, national discourse began to emerge. Meant to inspire civilians to rise up against the Japanese army, this potent rhetoric conjured a unified Korea and intensified after the Manchu invasions of 1627…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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