Read My Name Is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams Khadra Mohammed Catherine Stock Online


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 eSangoel 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....

Title : My Name Is Sangoel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780802853073
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 36 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

My Name Is Sangoel Reviews

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2019-03-07 03:51

    This book reminds me of another one I read, My Name Is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada, about a girl from a Latin American country whose teacher in her American school decides to shorten or change her name because there are too many similar names in the class. Names are important, and I think, rather than forcing immigrants to "Americanize" their names, we should encourage them to keep their names, which link them to their ethnic heritage. Names are who you are, after all. Out of respect we should at least try to pronounce their names correctly. I also really like what Sangoel and the children did. That would make a wonderful first-day-of-school activity for children to get to know each other, and it would make a great mnemonic for the teachers to remember the kids. Recommended!

  • Lesley
    2019-03-10 10:01

    I live in an area in New york that has a big refugee population and the settling in process can be overwhelming. This is a good book for young kids probably up to 2nd-5th grade about new life to America for a refugee from a child's point of view. This young boy came from war torn Sudan!

  • Destinee Sutton
    2019-03-15 06:15

    Many people change their names when they move to the United States so Americans will have an easier time with pronunciation. This is a story about not changing your name. It's about holding on to your identity and reaching out to your new community at the same time. What a wonderful lesson for all kids in the age of globalization. Note: If you're going to share this, make sure to read through it once first so you're pronouncing Sangoel correctly throughout.

  • Harmony
    2019-02-21 06:52

    A very gentle conversation starter for kids about refugees and particularly, the experience of a refugee child assimilating into a new country and home. The details of the story are very little-kid-friendly, with no gory details or traumatic pictures. Great for building empathy and awareness.

  • Nancy
    2019-03-08 03:51

    This story is about a boy named Sangoel who is a refugee and whose family had to run in the middle of the night to escape the war, unfortunately his father was killed. The family was brought over to America where they had to adjust to the new lifestyle. The lady who took care of them was Mrs. Johnson, and she taught them how to do things like cross the street, cook on the stove, and eat a fork.I really enjoyed this story because it told the story of a boy and his family that had to leave their home country and adjust to a new way a living. I tried to picture myself doing that, and I don't know how I would adjust. With everything currently going on in the world, I recommend this book to people who want a better understanding of what these people through. Quote:- "The sky boat took them to America."Books that you can pair this book to are: My Name Is Maria Isabel, The Color of Home, & Four Feet, Two Sandals

  • Luanne Hatcher
    2019-03-06 03:50

    This book was selected for our Roanoke Valley Big Read primary category. I read this book and did some research on the topic to use to intro. this story to me younger classes. It's hard to imagine being in a refugee's shoe! The students were touched my this story, too.

  • Laura
    2019-03-17 08:53

    I like how this is happening right now across the world.

  • MrsMJ
    2019-03-13 05:52

    I love this book! I teach middle school, and I always start the school year off with it. We read it as a class and we discuss the importance of names, of respecting each other by saying each other’s names properly, and of not giving unwanted nicknames to each other. We also discuss (and practice) how to help others say our own names correctly. I highly recommend this book for elementary through middle school, partnered with “The Name Jar”. Both are great books!Side note for teachers: It’s a great transition into curriculum because it goes along with “getting to know you” and class procedures/rules/expectations, yet can be transitioned into a research project. After reading/discussing these, and a few other stories with similar themes, I have my students do a research project about their names. Their sources are: 1) Interview a parent/family member about why they were given their name, 2) Baby Name Book for info about their name (root, origin, meaning, other forma of the same name, popularity of the name, nicknames for that name, etc.) 3) Website for info about their name... We go through the whole process of discussing research, bibliography, expository writing forms/processes, etc., and the kids absolutely love it because it’s about their name! They stay engaged! Then students make a poster or slide presentation and present their findings about their name to the class. It’s one of their favorite projects! Kids really enjoy learning about their names, talking with their family members about their names (some kids learn for the first time why they have their name!), and sharing the information with their classmates. All that to say, “These books are a great beginning of the year introduction tool, as well as a fabulous transition into engaging academic content.”

  • Jillian Heise
    2019-03-01 06:47

    A powerful book to share about refugees, identity, and the power of one's name.Pair with The Name Jar, or Calling the Water Drum, The Treasure Box, The Journey, My Beautiful Birds, Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey, Where Will I Live?, Her Right Foot for a refugee/immigration text set.

  • Stephie Healy
    2019-03-19 09:03

    “My Name is Sangoel” by Karen Lynn Williams is a very powerful children’s book. It takes the reader through the story of a little boy called Sangoel, who used to live in a refugee camp and is now moving to America. It tells the story through Sangoel’s perspective. Everything he was experiencing was new to him. He describes his experience of flying on a plane, using electric stairs, going to school, and living in a apartment building, which for him were all amazing and new. This book is written in a critical literature perspective. I find this book very educative not only for kids but for adults too. Personally, I got to understand a little better how a refugee may feel when he first moves to a new country. It really impressed me when he described America as “big and free; with no barbed wire to keep them in.” The overall theme of this book is the journey and experience of a refugee moving into a new country. I really recommend it because it allows the opportunity of a “window” for kids to learn more about where refugees come from and how their lives are.

  • Menna Admasu
    2019-02-22 10:48

    Sangoal came to America with his mom and sister from Sudan as a refugee. When he comes to America he is having trouble getting people to pronounce his name correctly. He feels alone in this new country. This story is a great story in learning to not change your name just so people can be able to pronounce it, but loving your name and embracing that it might be hard to pronounce. This book is also a great way for people to look into the life of a refugee.

  • Betsey Brannen
    2019-03-05 05:03

    In our ever diverse climate, learning and pronouncing someone's name correctly is extremely important. I love the simple way this book is illustrated. The text is so fulfilling.My name is Bet-c.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-17 09:52

    This a wonderful book about a refugee family. The main storyline is how Sangoel struggles to keep his name once his family is in America, as well as the correct pronunciation.

  • Jennybeast
    2019-03-15 05:50

    Immigrant and refugee experience for younger kids, in a well done picture book format. Also, soccer.

  • Tya
    2019-03-21 10:58

    What a beautiful story about the importance of our names.

  • Heather Jo
    2019-03-05 06:56

    megan summer reading 2017, children's book, picture book, refugees, sudan, names, ancestry, understanding, changes, differences, first grade, second grade, third grade,

  • Mona
    2019-02-27 04:00

    great book with such an important message.

  • Mary
    2019-03-05 07:56

    Great book about immigration and acceptance in a new country.

  • Meg
    2019-02-21 11:52

    A touching story of a refugee family coming to America and finding how to fit in while being true to themselves.

  • Jen
    2019-02-25 08:08

    Sangoel is an elementary-aged school boy whose family had to flee the civil war-torn Sudan. He, his sister, and his mother seek refuge in the United States. All the while, he remains true to his identity and is proud of his name, Sangoel (pronounced "sun goal"). While acclimating to the U.S., he is frustrated because it doesn't seem that anyone knows how to say his name, thus not acknowledging him. Sangoel comes up with a clever way- using a rebus- for his classmates to finally understand how to pronounce his name correctly, and he starts to feel accepted.Good for teaching empathy, perseverance, and resilience. I would read this to 2nd grade and up.

  • Gretchen
    2019-03-14 11:00

    This is a wonderful story for the classroom about a refugee boy from Sudan. Not only does it share some great information about what it is like to be a refugee, it also talks about the importance of one's name. Not all names are easy to pronounce, but it is critically important for us as teachers to listen to the importance and pronunciation of each child's name. Sometimes, that is all they have left that connects them to an important past and culture.

  • J R
    2019-03-15 12:02

    Sangoel came to America with nothing but his name and his family, and he is proud of his African heritage and his Dinka name that has been handed down to him from past generations. After arriving in America he is faced with losing his name in order to assimilate with the American culture, and he decides to takes measures into his own hands.My Name Is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammad tells the story of Sangoel, an eight-year-old boy, who is a Sudanese refugee. His father was killed in the war, and as a result of the war Sangoel, his mother, and his sister has been living at a refugee camp in Sudan. Life in Sudan is a life full of fear, and when Sangoel , his mother and younger sister embark on their journey to America, it is with great hopes for the future and best wishes from the family and friends they leave behind in Sudan.My Name is Sangoel is a book that candidly portrays life in America from the viewpoint of an immigrant child, and as we follow Sangoel on his journey from a refugee camp in Sudan to a new life in America, we get a rare but honest look into what it is like for children of immigrants to uproot and migrate to a new life, a new culture and a new country.My Name Is Sangoel is a story full of fear, hope, curiosity and oddly enough a wonderful sense of humor. It is a book that will make your children think about their own lives, a book that fosters appreciation and empathy, and it is a book that makes your children learn about life outside of America.I read this story with my seven-year-old son, and as we turned the pages, he became more and more in tune with the story. He noticed the color differences, asked questions, he wondered about why things were happening, he studied the creative illustrations, and he was able to empathize with Sangoel on many levels. The ability to connect with the child, is one of the great aspects of My Name is Sangoel, as it really makes the child interested in Sangoel’s life and story.Williams and Mohammad have managed to create a story that not only captures its audience, but which teaches and sparks interest as well while adding a touch of humor The author's note is a great source of knowledge about families in refugee camps and about Sudan, and it is a very helpful addition to the conversation piece that the books is. The illustrations add their very own touch to this book, and my son excitedly noticed the computer graphics that had been embedded within the otherwise "hand drawn" images. My Name Is Sangoel is a book, which I can highly recommend to anyone, who wants their children to be world citizens, to be able to empathize with children of other cultures and situations, and it is a great book to help teach our children about accepting each others' differences.

  • Shamika
    2019-03-11 07:07

    Text Set #3: My Name is Sangoel is an emotional text about a young boy whose father was killed in the war in Sudan, so he, his mother, and sister move to America from the refugee camp. One of the biggest issues that Sangoel runs into in America is the fact that everyone he comes across mispronounces his name. He believes that in America, he has “lost” his name. His mother suggests that he needs a new name, but Sangoel has an excellent idea. In order to get people to pronounce his name correctly, he draws a sun and a goal, so the other students in his class call him Sungoal, which is how his name is pronounced, instead of San-go-el, which is how everyone has been pronouncing it. Other students follow suit by making drawings of how to pronounce their names as well. Sangoel is now proud because he is able to keep the name that was passed down to him from his grandfather and father. This text is great in a collection of stories about migration because even though Sangoel speaks a bit of English, there is still a culture shock that he experiences when coming to America, particularly when no one can pronounce his name correctly. This text would be beneficial for students who may speak English but struggle with the huge cultural shift in coming to a new country. In addition, this is a great text for students who have experienced trauma. Sangoel, although only eight years old, has to become the man of the family after his father’s death in the war. There are many children who, although may not experience the same type of trauma, experience different types of violence that may contribute to the loss of a parent and therefore, a greater role being forced upon them. Therefore, this is a text that students can read with their parents or a trusted adult, so that they can talk about the issues that they have experienced that may be similar or different to Sangoel’s. Classroom activities for My Name is Sangoel can include the same activity that the students do in the book: they can draw pictures to represent their names. Not only is it an engaging activity, but it helps students see the connection between pictures and words. Teachers and students can then discuss pronunciation and why words or names like Sangoel aren’t pronounced the way that we may think. This can become a cultural conversation in which teachers and students discuss the differences between languages, even English, in different countries, and how the culture influences the way that words are pronounced.

  • Maggie Hahn
    2019-03-17 06:51

    Sangoel is an eight year old boy who has been living in a refugee camp with his mother and little sister. Until one day, his family gets the chance to move to America and start new. Although Sangoel cannot speak much English. except his name which most people are having trouble pronouncing. Sangoel and his family make it to the airport and find their name with a nice lady named Mrs. Johnson to help them get settled into their apartment and doctor and even school for Sangoel. Sangoel is having a hard time adjusting to all of the fancy technology found in America. Finally, he has to go to school. His teacher, his classmates, and his soccer coach all pronounce his name wrong and Sangoel does not like this. Sangoel is his family name, the same name that his father and grandfather had, which is why it is important for him to keep this name and for people to understand how to say it. Sangoel gets a brilliant idea so that everyone at school will be able to pronounce his name right, and his classmates finally get it and start to draw out their names so that Sangoel will be able to say them. This book talks about the hardships inside and outside of refugee camps for families. I enjoyed this book because it gives you a peek inside the brain of a young refugee boy, who is experiencing America for the first time. He does not know how to act or relate to anyone, but he finds his way pretty quickly. After Sangoel has the idea to draw out his name for his classmates, they all gather around to read his shirt. Then all of the other children decided to draw there names, this is a great way to teach about tolerance and acceptance. Even though Sangoel's name was different, it was just as easy to say as "Sun-goal". Once his classmates realized this, they all wanted Sangoel to be able to pronounce their names too. This book could easily be used to teach cultural differences. I could have my students learn about African culture and African tribes. Also this book could be used to teach about refugees. I could have my students draw out their own names using pictures like Sangoel did in the book.

  • Janine Darragh
    2019-03-18 08:52

    I loved this book about Sudanese refugee Sangoel and the importance of one's name and identity.

  • Tara
    2019-02-25 09:01


  • Stephanie Hughes
    2019-02-28 09:08

    My Name is Sangoel takes the reader on the journey of a young Sudanese boy, fleeing from war after his father was killed, to America where he is resettled with his mother and younger sister. At Sangoel’s new school many of his teachers and classmates have difficulty pronouncing his name properly. This bothers Sangoel and he begins to worry that he is in danger of losing his family name along with his Sudanese identity. He has an idea however to help his classmates and teachers learn to pronounce his name correctly. Everyone at school loves his idea! He learns that he can be Sangoel, even in America. My Name is Sangoel is a beautiful book that does a wonderful job of discussing a topic that is not always easy to explain to children; the plight of refugees. Its power comes from the story’s ability to make the reader empathize with Sangoel, and the difficulty of being the new kid at school. I am an advocate of reading this book just to read, but it would be great in a social studies setting, grades k-4, discussing topics such as different groups of people around the world, displacement, as well as refugee resettlement/immigration. Also, if you teach in a school that has any sort of refugee population, I think this book is a must read. By making your non-refugee students aware of the situations that some of their classmates have gone through, you will be opening their eyes and helping them to see the world from a different perspective. As someone who has worked extensively with refugees, from resettling families to teaching refugee students in public schools, this book is so much more than a realistic fiction story. This book is the story of so many refugee children’s lives, and I am so thankful that Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed have shared it with us.

  • Teri Weaver
    2019-03-19 06:56

    This is a valuable resource to use in order to introduce social studies vocabulary terms such as: immigrant and refugee. The author has written a compelling story of a young Sudanese boy who emigrates to America. The beautiful watercolor illustrations portray the painful departure and emotions of the main character and his family. They also serve to highlight the confusion of the immigrant experience for example, Sangoel travels through a crowded airport where everyone is speaking another language very quickly (English). Students reading this book would understand how refugees sometimes leave their camps suddenly, and never return to their homeland. Before leaving, Sangoel hears from his grandfather about the importance of his name. Losing his name in America is a central theme and one that reminded me of many Ellis Island immigrants so long ago. The illustrations help to show how Sangoel leaves the Sudan, the hot sun, and the herding of cattle to a world of great confusion and change. He is introduced to a different housing concept (an apartment) that is filled with electronic things he has never seen before. He must learn to adapt to sitting in a desk at school, crossing a busy street, and most importantly how to maintain his identity in America-- where people want to change his name. This book has many insights that could be shared with a classroom to highlight why we have refugee camps in the world, what they are like, and what happens to the people who leave them. Showing that all people have names that connect them to their heritage would be a interesting activity that could accompany this book. Helping students to understand that it is important to address others with their names-- even if they are hard to pronounce, is another lesson that could be learned. Using Sangoel's creative name activity would be thought provoking and fun.

  • Nicolewinter2011
    2019-02-25 05:06

    Illustrator: Catherine StockPublisher: Eerdmans Books for Young ReadersYear: 2009Interest Level: K-4Reading Level: 2-4I enjoyed reading this book. I like finding books related to immigrants and discussing their names. I like how this boy is determined to keep his Sudnese name and he shows such pride. Part of why I like books with this message is that I think it's important for kids to take pride in their names and who they are. They don't need to change their name, simply because a teacher can not pronounce it, as in this book. Sangoel has a great plan to illustrate his name, using English words to help students learn how to say his name (a picture of the sun and a goal). The children respond by saying his name correctly AND making their own illustrations for how to say their name. What a great idea for kids in the primary grades to do. One downside would be that some names may not have pictures that can be done easily or may even have syllables that represent things that may not be appropriate for school. A teacher would have to look closely at the list of her students' names before trying this project.I also noticed that the illustrator chose to have the people look similar on some pages and distinct on others. The have different hair and skin tones. This was more noticeable for me with Sangoel's classmates. However, I enjoyed the brush strokes in the artwork, as well as the integration of some photos here and there. I thought that was unique.

  • Breanne Sergenti
    2019-03-23 07:06

    Fiction/MulticulturalAward(s): NSSTB (2010)Grade level: 2nd - 5th gradeSangoel, a refugee, leaves his homeland in Sudan after war has taken everything away from his family, including his father. He travels to America with his mother and sister, carrying on the family name, Sangoel, passed down from his father and grandfather. No one at school, even his teacher, are able to pronounce his name correctly. When he tells his mother, she suggests changing his name to something American. Sangoel is upset and is forced to decide whether to carry on his family name or give into the pressure of fitting in in his school. This story provides an insight into life as a refugee. You can identify with Sangoel's feeling of loss and loneliness as he leaves behind family and friends and moves to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar faces. The illustrations provide colorful and detailed pictures showing a snapshot into Sangoel’s life in Sudan and his new life in America. This book is a good reminder for teachers about the importance of a name. It is also a good lesson for students to think about how their actions affect someone's feelings. It sets the example that everyone is unique and is of value to each other.