When My Name Was Keoko (and a linkup)

When My Name Was KeokoApril continued with the theme of Korea for our family book club, and the book selection is a favorite of mine: When My Name Was KeokoWhen My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park, by Linda Sue Park.

Because of the ages of my children (my oldest is only 6), it’s not one I read aloud to them, but I do plan on either having them read it themselves eventually, or reading it to them when they’re older.

I’m reasonably well-read about World War II and that era, but I hadn’t realized that Korea was occupied by Japan before and during the war. Or at least if I’d heard it it hadn’t really sunk in at all. Park’s story brings that time period to life, and yet does so in a way that’s not too graphic for younger readers, although as always I’d recommend that you know your reader if you’re worried about suitability.

If you read When My Name Was KeokoWhen My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park, either for yourself, or with your family, what did you think of it? There’s also a blog linkup if you posted about the book (or theme), and any posts will automatically show up on the joint linkup, hosted by Moira (Hearth and Homefront) and Jessica (Quirky Bookworm). Add your post once from any one of our sites, and it will automatically appear in the linkup on their blogs.


RTFEBC Korea

Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about reading this book or one of the themed picture books. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to one of the host’s posts.

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting us permission to use and/or repost photographs or comments from your linked post.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

The Kite Fighters (and a linkup)

The Kite FightersMarch and April’s theme for our online family book club is Korea, and March’s book is Linda Sue Park’s wonderful novel The Kite FightersThe Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park.

I was not new to Park, but hadn’t read this particular title until pre-reading it for the book club. What a lovely story it was, and I learned quite a bit about historic Korean culture.

While I did not read this book with my kids (I think they’ll do better with it in another couple of years), I absolutely do plan to read it to them eventually. Although if we stick with Sonlight for our homeschool curriculum, it is scheduled in the year focused on the Eastern Hemisphere, so the kids would definitely read it then!


If you read The Kite FightersThe Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park, either for yourself, or with your family, what did you think of it? And if you wrote a post about it, please add it to our linkup! Any posts will automatically show up on the joint linkup, hosted by Moira (Hearth and Homefront) and Jessica (Quirky Bookworm). Add your post once from any one of our sites, and it will automatically appear in the linkup on their blogs.


RTFEBC Korea

Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about reading this book or one of the themed picture books. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to one of the host’s posts.

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting us permission to use and/or repost photographs or comments from your linked post.

 Loading InLinkz ...


Next month we continue with Korea, and we’ll be discussing When My Name Was KeokoWhen My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park. I hope you can join us!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

A Single ShardA Single ShardA Single Shard by Linda Sue Park by Linda Sue Park

I read this when I was pre-reading/re-reading books for the family book club’s Korea theme. Ultimately I recommended we select When My Name Was Keoko as the middle grade/teen book, feeling that it gave a better balance to our pairing, but want to still encourage anyone interested in children’s literature or historical fiction to give this one a try – it’s fantastic.

Park’s writing is so beautiful, but the characterizations and themes of her novel are what make A Single Shard such a standout to me. While it’s not the right fit for me to read to my children (yet), I’m looking forward to introducing them to it when they’re older and able to appreciate the story.

And if you’re able to read the book and not feel an overwhelming urge to do some searching online for celadon pottery, you’ve got more restraint than I do. I had to go looking for some images of the pottery described in the book – such beautiful work!

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:
In this Newbery Medal-winning book set in 12th century Korea, Tree-ear, a 13-year-old orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated — until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself — even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.

Book Details

Title: A Single ShardA Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Author: Linda Sue Park
Category: Juvenile Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Come Along with Us To Korea! (our next theme for RTFEBC)

RTFEBC KoreaLooking ahead (so you’ve got time to reserve or buy the books), in March and April we’ll be reading about Korea for our family book club.

The picture book will be The Firekeeper’s SonThe Firekeeper's Son by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Julie Downing. I’ll be back soon with a list of alternative picture book titles you can try, if you can’t easily locate this one.

The early elementary book (to be discussed in March) will be The Kite FightersThe Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park. This was a new-to-me book I was excited to read!

The middle grade/teen book (to be discussed in April) will be When My Name Was KeokoWhen My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park. And while April’s books are aimed at somewhat older kids, this is a fantastic title that’s well worth reading even if you are an adult with no kids, or kids too young to appreciate it. It discusses Korea right before and during World War II, when Korea was occupied by Japan. Despite the topic, it’s handled gently, and may still be something you feel comfortable reading to upper elementary age children. If you want some specifics as you wonder about it’s appropriateness for your children, let me know – I reread it last month in preparation for this.

All of these picks for the Korea theme are by the same author – Linda Sue Park. She is an amazing author, to be sure, but that really wasn’t intentional. 😉

I hope you’ll join us over in the Facebook group, where this month we’ll be discussing Julie of the Wolves with Carrie of The Lion is a Bookworm as we finish our Arctic theme, and then get ready to move on to Korea along with that theme’s co-host, Moira of Hearth and Homefront.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Book Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Two years ago: Book Review: Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic
Three years ago: Literary Confessions

What the Kids are Reading (in October and November 2015)

Lots of books to share about this month, especially since I missed last month with my book club series.

A Sick Day for Amos McGeeA Sick Day for Amos McGeeA Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
I’ve seen this listed so many places as a recommended picture book, and I enthusiastically agree –
it’s wonderful!

Orange Pear Apple BearOrange Pear Apple BearOrange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett by Emily Gravett
We’ve read this one dozens of times already, and will probably be adding this to our “buy this book” lit. It’s fantastic, and I was so impressed with the illustrations, and how the author tells the story with such limited vocabulary.

MooMoo!Moo! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
My kids (yes, both of them) laughed and laughed and laughed at this one. Another one we may end up buying. Lots of fun to read aloud, if you’re willing to really throw yourself into it and get expressive. 🙂

The Day the Crayons QuitThe Day the Crayons QuitThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Another hit this month, and now we want to read the sequel, The Day the Crayons Came HomeThe Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.

The Firekeeper’s SonThe Firekeeper’s SonThe Firekeeper's Son by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Julie Downing by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Julie Downing
Not a favorite for my kids, but one I may try again in another six months or so. I liked the idea of it more than the book itself, which didn’t keep their interest.

Hanna’s Cold WinterHanna’s Cold WinterHanna's Cold Winter by Trish Marx, illustrated by Barbara Knutson by Trish Marx, illustrated by Barbara Knutson
I wasn’t sure if my kids would care about it, but they loved it! We read it several times the first week after borrowing it, and then they kept it in their room to reread it (or “reread” it) as desired.

The Story of FerdinandThe Story of FerdinandThe Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson
My kids were not as interested in this as I expected them to be. I was overcome by nostalgia when reading it, so I’m sure that colored my expectations, but still: come on kids, this is a classic!

Bears Don’t Read by Emma Chichester ClarkBear’s Don’t Read by Emma Chichester Clark
Very cute story, with sweet illustrations (and great expressions on the bear’s face). I liked the ending quite a bit, and though I wasn’t sure how the kids would like it, they were enthralled!

Secrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown, illustrated by Alyssa NassnerSecrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown, illustrated by Alyssa Nassner
Nonfiction picture book, and my kids loved the flashlight trick this book includes (when you shine a light behind the page you see hidden illustrations). What could have just been a gimmick was pretty well-done at adding to the information.

CinderellaCinderella (retold by Susanna Davidson, illustrated by Lorena Alvarez)
The familiar story, with some subtle variations. My daughter (princess-obsessed as she is) claimed this book for her own, and she loved how she already knew the story. Nicely illustrated.

GossieGossieGossie (Gossie & Friends) by Olivier Dunrea by Olivier Dunrea
Cute enough, but not one I felt compelled to read again, and not one the kids asked to hear more than once.

Double PinkDouble PinkDouble Pink by Kate Feiffer by Kate Feiffer
Meh. My daughter’s pick, and it isn’t one I’d recommend you make any effort to find. If you also have a pink-obsessed daughter and can find it at the library, she’d probably be delighted.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Book Review: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
Two years ago: Book Review: Far from Home by Mary Herring Wright
Three years ago: Why to Track the Books You Read