When My Name Was Keoko

When My Name Was Keoko

by Linda Sue Park
4.3 26

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When My Name Was Keoko 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Linda Park is an exceptional writer of Korean culture and its history. Although she was educated in the US, her understanding of Korean culture and history are innately exceptional. Unlike other writers of her similar background, Park does not compromise other people¿s culture, Korean, to satisfy the cursory American readers nor does she try to mystify Korean culture to spice up the content of her novel¿a style some other writers often use. Her book may, or will, disappoint some readers who are expecting to read the mystical world of Korea, even though in reality, different cultures share many common values. Her story is based on a middle class Korean family when Korea was under the Japanese military occupation. Ironically she decided not to include the atrocities of the Japanese brutality during their colonization of Korea such as countless rapes and tortures that the Japanese soldiers inflicted during the early part of the 20th century. Yet, Park¿s silent display of the Japanese¿ visible arrogance and their obviously intimidating presence in Korea were subtly but compellingly displayed through out. The main part of her story, however, is about the Kim family and their resilience to overcome the harsh reality. Although her characters do not see themselves as victims with their overtly optimistic views of the world, Park nevertheless indicates otherwise. When the Japanese soldiers decide to take away rice, which is a main meal for the Koreans, for their war efforts, the mother sought other means to provide meals to her family and refuses to let her family go hungry. The father, a great scholar, watches haplessly, when the Japanese soldiers takes away his son¿s biggest wealth, a used bicycle, in the name of the emperor, tries to console his son, knowing that resisting would only result in beating. Yet, this weak father has been secretly writing to the outlawed Korean Independence paper to inspire hope. The son volunteers to the Japanese imperial army to provide better meals to his family and ultimately volunteers to be a Kamikaze pilot, challenging his Japanese superiors¿ belief that Koreans are useless. The daughter tries to maintain normalcy in the chaotic time of the war. Through these wonderful characters Park shows an ordinary family in a time that threatens the family¿s very existence. Recently some how, the Japanese have become the victims of World War II for some legitimate reasons. We should never forget the innocent victims of the two atomic bombs at the end of the war. However, that does not justify Japan¿s staggering atrocities that resulted millions of deaths and countless rapes that still remain intact in the hearts of millions of victims in Asia and Japan¿s current administers¿ silence of its past. Park¿s book is not a charismatic book that will ultimately made in a movie but it is a historic book that is both refreshing and powerful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a real page turner! I could not put the book down, I learned a lot from this story. I hope to read more by this author!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. It was so sad, yet it had something that always wanted me to know more about what was going to happen next. It's no wonder it got the Caudill award!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a very good book because it makes you think of life in those times. It's hard for us to illustrate what life was like back then, but I can perfectly picture what it was in this book. I reccomend this book 100%
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome. I read this as a paperback and thought that it was very well written. It was really cool how Linda Sue Park recounted her mothers'expirence during WWII. This book is just really good. I totally recomend this book to read.
Sandy Lee More than 1 year ago
I such a big fan of linda sue park that i knew this was the right book for moi! For most of the people reading this, the could have felt the sorrow and the mental pain the koreans were getting. Im korean also and so is the author of this book. I just wish this was written in hangul....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"When we chose our new names, I pointed to the letter K. I went around whispering over and over, "Keoko. Kaneyama Keoko. Keoko" I could think about "Kaneyama Keoko" as a name but not as my name." How would you feel if you were forced to change your name? When My Name Was Keoko is a realistic fiction written by Linda Sue Park. The main characters are Sun-hee and her brother, Tae-yul. They love each other very much, even though Tae-yul gets mad at Sun-hee for making a mistake. She told her uncle that the Japanese were going to arrest him; her uncle went into hiding. Sun-hee told her uncle something that was not true. Her misunderstanding leads her uncle into big trouble. His disappearance has been discovered by the Japanese, and he was a criminal now. Sun-hee realizes her mistake, and feels guilty. But later, she is told by Tae-yul that he is still alive. I liked this book, because the author described the characters' feelings in different situations, and made the story more interesting. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in Korean history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazibg i have read it 3 times i love how it is historical ficton but it is diffrent than others
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When My Name Was Keoko, Linda Sue Park                               Alex Sam, 7th grade 196 pages, Random House Books                            Lawson Middle School, Cupertino, CA grades 4­-7                                                                                              ISBN:0­440­41944­1 Keoko is in the middle of World War II, under Japanese oppression. In "When My Name Was Keoko" by Linda Sue Park, a girl is stripped of almost all her belongings, including her name. Her family and her are suffering, and Keoko feels angry, sad, and proud at times. Her family on the other hand, is afraid of being seized by the Japanese and executed. Even worse, Keoko’s brother drafts himself into the Japanese military. I read this book at first only because it was a school assignment, but on the second day, I couldn't resist myself, I was hooked. I read the whole book in one sitting! Linda’s novel is a page turner, and though it has many nonfictional elements, it is, historical fiction, and it is neither a sequel, or a prequel. I would have recommended this book to people who are about 10­-13 years old, and like to read about brave, and hard to make decisions concerning the lives of those close to you. The author was not involved in the war herself, but her relatives were, and that is what motivated her to write this book. She also uses an interesting way in telling the story, switching between the point of view from Keoko, to Keoko’s brother, providing two points of view, and throwing in a number of suspenseful moments, where time seems to slow down. I would read this book, even if it may not seem interesting at first, eventually, you will get hooked.
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Isaac Hong More than 1 year ago
this book is a great historical fiction. very realistic love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Story