GUEST WRITER KATIE MURPHY RECOMMENDS THE NAME JAR BY YANGSOOK CHOI
What does it feel like to move to a new school and be known as the new kid? Perhaps many of us have experienced this particular form of anxiety and embarrassment. I know I have. In my case, I would have done anything to just blend in with my new classmates and not be seen as an outsider.
This is how Unhei feels in Yangook Choi’s poignant story, The Name Jar. She moves with her family to a new country and starts school partway through the year. Unhei worries that no one will be able to pronounce her name properly and faces teasing from the other children, which leads her to decide to choose a new name. The next day, she finds a glass jar on her desk filled with name suggestions from her new classmates. Unhei shows courage and strength of character when she decides to keep her own name and share her culture and traditions.
The Name Jar is a beautifully written and illustrated story that highlights themes of acceptance, identity, and friendship. This book would be a wonderful addition to any classroom library!
Katie Murphy is currently teaching Grade 2 at Gibson-Neill Memorial Elementary in Fredericton. She is an avid reader and is passionate about reading books, talking about books, buying books, and listening to books.