Goyangi Means Cat is about a young Korean girl, Soo Min, who is adopted by an American family and brought to the United States. Soo Min knows no English. Her new family knows only a few words of Korean. Slowly, she teaches her new parents a few Korean words, including “no”, “hurt” and most importantly the world for “cat”, goyangi. Soo Min is struggling to adjust to her new life with her new family in America. She finds comfort petting their cat. When Goyangi escapes the apartment one day, Soo Min and her new mom look for the cat everywhere. Goyangi finally returns, and Soo Min, as she hugs Goyangi, says her first English word, “home”.
The author did a wonderful job helping my students understand how hard it was for Soo Min to adjust to her new home and family in the United States and how having a pet like Goyangi was a great comfort to her. We all felt Goyangi’s loss when he escaped and all were so relieved when he returned.