Sunday, September 20, 2009
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate (of Animorphs fame) does an incredible job of bringing you an insider view of a modern outsider. 5th grader Kek is a Sudanese refugee who arrives in Minnesota in winter to live with his aunt and his high school age cousin. Written in free verse, Kek tells his story of trying to adjust to a world very far from his native Africa. Having witnessed the death of his father and brother and separated from his mom in a refugee camp escaping the local violence, Kek is determined to learn his mother's fate. His first year, in Minn. is punctuated by failures and victories as he learns English, attends school and makes friends. One of these new friends turns out to be an older woman farmer and her cow that live on the outskirts of his town. They affect each others lives in ways they never expected. This story is full of wonderful images and words that will carry you along on Kek's journey of discovery. You may develop a whole new appreciation of cows. One not to miss!!