Synopses & Reviews
Sangoel is a refugee. Leaving behind his homeland of Sudan, where his father died in the war, he has little to call his own other than his name, a Dinka name handed down proudly from his father and grandfather before him / When Sangoel and his mother and sister arrive in the United States, everything seems very strange and unlike home. In this busy, noisy place, with its escalators and television sets and traffic and snow, Sangoel quietly endures the fact that no one can pronounce his name. Lonely and homesick, he finally comes up with an ingenious solution to this problem, and in the process he at last begins to feel at home.
"In this uplifting story from the authors of Four Feet, Two Sandals, a boy moves from a Sudanese refugee camp to the U.S. with his mother and sister. 'You will be Sangoel. Even in America,' an elder tells him. Yet everyone at his new school mispronounces his name. 'In America I have lost my name,' he says sadly, and when Mama suggests adopting an American name, the elder's words 'sang in his memory.' Inspired by his soccer team T-shirt (on which a ball replaces the letter 'o') the resourceful child draws a sun and a soccer goal on a shirt beneath the words, 'My name is' to help his friends learn how to say his name correctly. Stock's (the Gus and Grandpa series) loose watercolors convey Sangoel's deep-felt emotions, though occasional collaged elements present some jarring juxtapositions (in the scene in which Sangoel and his family leave the camp, a few of the refugees bidding them farewell have photographic heads stuck on their painted bodies, while the others are entirely painted). A concluding note succinctly explains the plight of today's refugees. Ages 6 10. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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.