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John Son Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

hat finding review han

Born in Germany; immigrated to United States.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Orchard Books/Grolier, Inc., Scholastic Library Publishing, P.O. Box 1795, 90 Sherman Tpke, Danbury, CT 06816.

Career

Writer.

Honors Awards

Inclusion in Bank Street College of Education Diversity List for Children, 2004, for Finding My Hat.

Writings

Finding My Hat, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Sidelights

John Son provides readers with an insightful coming-of-age story that also illustrates the immigrant experience in his autobiographical book, Finding My Hat. Jin-Han, a boy born in Germany of Korean parents, clings to his earliest memory: losing his hat to a large gust of wind. As the years progress, Jin-Han continues to search for his hat, and that search comes to symbolize his quest for identity. Growing up during the Korean War, Jin-Han and his family make the painful choice to leave behind beloved family members and work to establish a better quality of life in the United States of America. As Jin-Han grows older and comes to terms with himself and his Korean heritage, he also comes to understand his place in the world.

John Son draws on his own experiences as a Korean American in telling the story of Jin-Han, a young boy who travels with his immigrant parents throughout their adopted homeland in search of a permanent place to call home.

Gillian Engberg, reviewing Finding My Hat for Booklist, enjoyed Son's book, commenting that "readers of all backgrounds will recognize themselves in this absorbing novel." "This quiet story shows how unembellished obstervation can be quite moving, from hats lost in the wind to a shocking and powerful event at the end," stated a Kirkus Reviews critic, while Ashley Larsen wrote in School Library Journal that Son has produced "a beautifully written and deeply personal account of growing up."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 2003, Gillian Engberg, review of Finding My Hat, p. 610.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2003, review of Finding My Hat, p. 1183.

Kliatt, January, 2004, Claire Rosser, review of Finding My Hat, p. 12.

Publishers Weekly, November 10, 2003, review of Finding My Hat, p. 62.

School Library Journal, October, 2003, Ashley Larsen, review of Finding My Hat, p. 178.*

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