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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
A young girl learns the story behind her name and why her parents chose it in the children's book The Mystery Hidden in a Name by Kathleen Gorman. One day, Merci's teacher gives her class the assignment to find the meaning behind their given names. At dinner, Merci asks her parents how they chose her name, and she is completely surprised by her father's answer. The source of her name spans several decades, generations and countries, and includes wars, soldiers, France, and trains. Best of all, both her great-grandfathers played a vital part in American history. After completing her homework, Merci better understands her great-grandparents' era and how her family participated in momentous historical events. Now Merci appreciates why her parents chose her name and she is proud of it.
Beautifully depicted, The Mystery Hidden in a Name by Kathleen Gorman is a delightful children's book with an important message. The illustrations are eye-catching and captivating, and the storyline is entertaining and easy to follow. The book poignantly portrays portions of the history of the two World Wars and how the protagonist's great-grandparents played a large part in both. It is an educational story where the historical elements engage and draw the reader into the past. It shows how the wars had devastating effects on several countries and how our nation helped them afterward. I appreciated how the author, Ms. Gorman, included information on the boxcar and its location: it's a nice touch and a welcome supplement to the story. This children's picture book is an excellent addition to a young reader's shelf as it is both educational and fun.