by Linda Sue Park
Clarion Books, 2002
208 pages, ages 9 and up
When My Name Was Keoko
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 World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance.
Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.
2002 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
2002 School Library Journal, Best Books of the Year
2002 New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
2003 ALA Notable Book for Children
2003 Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
2005 Sequoyah Book Award (OK) Nominee
2003 ALA Best Book for Young Adults
2003 Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year
2003 NYPL Books for the Teen Age List
2003 CCBC Choices
2005 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award Master List (IL)
2004 Skipping Stones Honor Award
2004 Maine Student Book Award Master List
2003 Jane Addams Book Award Honor Book
2005 Mark Twain Award Master List (MO)
2006 Sunshine State Young Readers’ Master List (FL)
2005 Garden State (NJ) Teen Book Award Nominee