Cooper's Lesson

People, Identity & Culture
Author(s):
Sun Yung Shin
Illustrator(s):
Kim Cogan
Age Group:
6-10
Publisher:
Children's Book Press
ISBN:
978-0892391936
Year:
People, Identity & Culture

This is a story about identity and intergenerational friendship, featuring a young biracial boy, written in both English and Korean. Cooper, who has a Korean mother and a white, American father, is called "half and half" by his cousin. With his mixed heritage, the boy doesn't know where he fits in. When he goes to the Korean grocery, he is overwhelmed by a language of which he knows very little. He concludes that Mr. Lee, the owner, is laughing at him. In retaliation, Cooper shoplifts a brush for his mother. Caught in the act, he must work off his debt and learns that Mr. Lee's life in the United States has been difficult because of the language barrier. Eventually, the two come to a better understanding of their own and one another's problems.

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