My Name Is Sangoel

As a refugee from Sudan to the United States, Sangoel is frustrated that no one can pronounce his name correctly until he finds a clever way to solve the problem.

Read more about My Name Is Sangoel in WOW Review.

This book has been included in WOW’s Language and Learning: Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Booklist. For our current list, visit our Booklist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.

2 thoughts on “My Name Is Sangoel

  1. Susan Corapi says:

    Sangoel has just arrived in the USA from the Sudan. Before the long flight across the ocean, an elder in the refugee camp reminds him that his Dinka name is part of his heritage. It was proudly passed down in the family and is a reminder of his father who was killed in the war. In this engaging story, Sangoal learns how to help his new American friends pronounce his name, enabling him to keep the name that is part of the father who is not with him and marking him as a member of the land he has had to leave. The text is a strong statement of the connection between name and identity, and of the importance of names for children negotiating a lot of change in a new home.

    Similar Books dealing with negotiating your given name:
    Chrysanthemum (Kevin Henkes) – A little mouse struggles with the length of her name and that it will not fit on a kindergarten name tag.
    The Name Jar (Yangsook Choi) – A young Korean girl newly arrived in the US struggles with giving up her name for an ‘Americanized’ name. With the help of her classmates, she realizes she can hold on to that part of her identity.
    Don’t Call Me Sidney (Jane Sutton, Renata Gallio) – A pig poet wants to change his name to Joe since it is hard to find words that rhyme with ‘Sidney’. His mother and friends help him find a compromise that lets him keep his name yet have lots of rhymes for his poems.

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