Written by Helen Recorvits
Her name is Yoon and she came from Korea, a country far away. Yoon's name means Shining Wisdom, and when she writes it in Korean, it looks happy -- like dancing figures. But her father tells her that she must learn to write it in English. In English all the lines and circles stand alone, which is just how Yoon feels in the United States. Yoon isn’t sure she wants to be Y-O-O-N. At her new school, she tries out different names – maybe CAT or BIRD. Maybe CUPCAKE!
My Name Is Yoon is a spare and inspiring story about a little girl finding her place in a new country.
Helen Recorvits was born in Rhode Island and graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in education and psychology. She went on to earn a master's degree and also a certification in gifted and talented education. A former educator, Helen now devotes her time to writing and to speaking at conferences and literary events. Her other books
Yoon and the Christmas Mitten,
Yoon and the Jade Bracelet,
Goodbye Walter Malinski, and
Where Heroes Hide received many fine reviews and awards. Her books have been translated into Danish, French, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. Helen says, "I remember my mother reading to me when I was two years old. My favorite books were Cinderella and The Pokey Little Puppy. I began writing my own stories and sharing them with my cousins when I was a child. When I was a teenager, I wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper.” Today Helen lives in the peaceful, woodsy town of Glocester, Rhode Island. Helen says, "I love reading and writing stories about interesting characters -- people trying to find their place in life, people with hope in their hearts."
Written by Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizaretta
In this timely tale of immigration, two cousins learn the importance of family and friendship. Mexico may be her parents’ home, but it’s certainly not Margie’s. She has finally convinced the other kids at school she is 100% American—just like them. But when her Mexican cousin Lupe visits, the image she’s created for herself crumbles.
Things aren’t easy for Lupe, either. Mexico hadn’t felt like home since her father went North to find work. Lupe’s hope of seeing him in the United States comforts her some, but learning a new language in a new school is tough. Lupe, as much as Margie, is in need of a friend.
Little by little, the girls’ individual steps find the rhythm of one shared dance, and they learn what “home” really means.
In the tradition of
My Name is Maria Isabel—and simultaneously published in English and in Spanish—Alma Flor Ada and her son Gabriel M. Zubizarreta offer an honest story of family, friendship, and the classic immigrant experience: becoming part of something new, while straying true to who you are.
Alma Flor Ada, Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco, has devoted her life to advocacy for peace by promoting a pedagogy oriented to personal realization and social justice. A former Radcliffe Scholar at Harvard University and Fulbright Research Scholar she is an internationally re-known speaker. Her professional books for educators, include
A Magical Encounter: Latino Children’s Literature in the Classroom, and
Authors in the Classroom: A Transformative Education Processco-authored with F. Isabel Campoy, about their work promoting authorship in students, teachers, and parents. Alma Flor’s numerous children’s books of poetry, narrative, folklore and non fiction have received prestigious awards including:
Christopher Medal (The Gold Coin),
Pura Belpré Medal (Under the Royal Palms),
Once Upon a World (Gathering the Sun),
Parents’ Choice Honor (Dear Peter Rabbit),
NCSS and CBC
Notable Book (My Name is María Isabel),
Marta Salotti Gold Medal (Encaje de piedra). In 2012 she received the
Virginia Hamilton Literary Award in recognition of her body of work for children.
Gabriel Zubizaretta has co-authored two children’s books with his mother, Alma Flor Ada – Dancing Home and Love, Amalia. He is CEO, Financial Effectiveness & Transformation Leader for Silicon Valley Accountants. He holds a B.S.A. degree from University of San Francisco.
About the Book
Written by Maria Testa
Inspired by actual events, this story written in free verse starts 10 years after the narrator’s family fled the fires of ethnic hatred in Kosova, Yugoslavia – long enough for the narrator to have transformed herself into a typical American schoolgirl. Her parents continue to feel like foreigners, and she grows impatient with what she perceives as their refusal to assimilate. Then an ugly incident in a nearby town changes everything, forcing each member of this refugee family to consider what being an American truly means. The book has received many awards, including:
Maria Testa was born in Hartford, Connecticut, grew up in and around Providence, Rhode Island, and now lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and two sons. She received bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and American Civilization from Brown University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. After graduation, she expatriated to Dublin, Ireland where she lived at the YWCA and decided to be a writer. She has written five middle school/Young Adult novels, three picture books for younger children, and a book of short stories about baseball.
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About the Book
Written and illustrated by Todd Parr
Todd Parr is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of more than three dozen children’s books in which he focuses on the themes of love, kindness and feeling good. He also creates short films for Sesame Street. He lives in the Bay Area with his dogs, Pete and TaterTot.