8/11/2011 ** I read it again this year; the kids clapped when I finished. They were really intrigued with the fact that Unhei's father was never mentioned. They speculated on whether her parents were divorced, about whether the father had to stay in Korea, or if he'd died. My favorite comment was that he might be in a cemetery. A significant chunk of my 4th graders have family, including parents, in other states or even countries for military deployments and for work. Many could relate to Unhei and her family coming to the U.S. for a better education & opportunities.
8/2010 I read this book aloud in the fall to help my 4th grade students understand the importance of welcoming people from other cultures and to develop respect for others' names. It worked well in parallel with My Name is Sangoel.