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Text and Tunes: Hannah Is My Name

Hannah is My Name (Candlewick Press, 2004) is the immigrant story of young Hannah whose parents leave Taiwan and move to America in search of a better life for their daughter. It reads:

"When we are Americans, Baba says we will be free to say what we think. An American girl is free to be anything she chooses, says Mama. We want to become Americans more than anything in the world. We want to be free."

The playful lil girl lives in a building she compares to a lime popsicle and works hard to learn her ABCs and English. Aside from adjusting to a new name and school, Hannah also worries about her parents struggle with employment and dreams of getting a green card. When the day finally arrives, she is surprised that the cards are actually blue, but says, "It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen."

The touching read is also a good educational tool. My daughter loves the story and is always drawn in by the brilliant artwork. The 24-page picture book ($17) was both authored and whimsically illustrated by Belle Yang who wrote it based on her own life experience.

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jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Or wait...never mind. I missed the sarcasm. :oops: I mean a country where domestic violence is still not a crime, its still a fight to get girls an education and civil war reigned just over a decade ago...not exactly progressive. :P
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
It's based on a her own life experience. Its not like its lies and propaganda. :? Sounds like a very cute book!
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
It looks adorable - especially the drawings! - but I would never read that to my kids. I prefer they didn't have such an idyllic view of America, because that implies other countries are less capable of offering freedom and opportunity. I hope my kids are more open minded, and this sort of literature wouldn't really help... they should appreciate American culture and society, but not be unaware of its many shortcomings, and other countries many opportunities. If I had to pick a country they should idealize, it would be Mozambique - talk about progressive!
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