Take the Family History Challenge!


In the new novel Unidentified Suburban Object, seventh grader Chloe Cho has always felt like she doesn't fit in. As the only Asian girl in her whole town, she's totally tired of having to constantly correct people: No, she's not Japanese or Chinese—she's Korean! And yes, she's super smart…but it's not because she's Asian. The worst part? She can't even turn to her family for comfort, because her parents *never* talk about her Korean background. 

When new teacher Ms. Lee comes along, though, everything changes: She's Korean, too, and with her help, Chloe finally starts to get in touch with her heritage. But the deeper she dives into her history, the clearer it becomes that her family has been hiding a BIG secret…


Want to find out your own family's secret? CLICK HERE to check out Unidentified Suburban Object, then complete the activities in our 15-step Family History Challenge! Surprised at what you find? Let us know in the comments below. 


1. Make a dish that’s been in the family for years. Don’t have a recipe? Do some research on your family’s culture, and choose one together!

2. Go to your birth town's library (in person or on the web) and read the newspaper from the day you were born. 

3. Ask a grandparent or great-grandparent what one of their favorite hobbies as a child was, and give it a try!

4. Print out a giant map, and mark all the places your family and other older relatives have lived over time.

5. Make a giant family tree that includes all sides of the family. If you get stuck, grab your parents and check out a genealogy site like

6. Do any of your relatives still live overseas—or even across the country? Become pen pals, and exchange letters about your experiences.

7. Find out the history of your and your siblings' names. Were you named after your great aunt? Your mom's favorite musician?

8. Put together a photo album of your ancestors. Recruit your extended family to help you find the oldest, coolest pics possible, then see if you look like anyone from way back!

9. Ask a relative what their favorite record or album was when they were your age, then find it online and jam out (or at least give it a try!).  

10. If your family was originally from a non-English speaking country, learn a few key phrases in your ancestors' native language.

11. Ask all of the couples in your family to tell you how they met—grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and more. *So* romantic!

12. Find out if your family has any heirlooms that have passed down for generations, then learn the story behind them.

13. At the next big fam dinner, ask everyone to tell one of their favorite funny stories about someone else in the family.

14. If you're from the United States, did any of your ancestors arrive through Ellis Island? Check the records online HERE

15. Keep a journal of all your findings—then pass it on to your son or daughter when they're your age!

What's your favorite piece of family history? What did you learn from the Challenge? Let us know in the comments.

by GL | 4/26/2016
jump to comments