Home of the Brave

Home of the Brave

Book - 2007
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Kek, an African refugee, is confronted by many strange things at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, as well as in his fifth grade classroom, and logs for his missing mother, but finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner.
Publisher: New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2007.
ISBN: 9780312367657
Characteristics: 249 pages ;,22 cm.


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Sep 19, 2017

Excellent book , recommend it , Heartwarming , touching and humorous . Makes a person realize how a refugee could misunderstand the language and customs in a different country other than their own . Really liked this story .

Feb 17, 2017

Kek's courage, love of life and sorrow for his family is felt on every page.
This book is a wonderful story of what it must be like to emigrate to America after a life of war and refugee camps. Kek braves both his ancestral home and his new home, never losing hope that Life will somehow be alright, even while he mourns and hopes for his lost mama.

A humbling story, reminded me of how much I have and how much I haven't had to live witness or survive through. My heart goes out for all the Keks of the world and I hope they all find a welcoming new home.

A beautiful, heartwarming story.

vpl_childrens Dec 15, 2015

Kek is an African refugee who must move to Minneapolis to live with his aunt and cousin in America. Although Kek longs for his mother and misses his home in Africa, he finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner. Ages 6-12.

JCLChrisK Mar 05, 2015

Spare, simple, and moving,

this book of free verse poetry tells the story of Kek, a young man trying to make a new life in Minnesota after fleeing the ravages of war in Sudan.

Kek has always understood himself as defined by his family, culture, and setting, and has no idea who he is without those familiar concepts and surroundings to give him bearing. Language is the least of what he must learn to translate.

The horrors of Kek's past are shared but not belabored as he tries to stoically deal with his grief, grateful for this second chance while longing for everything he has lost.

"A sandstorm passes; the stars remain."


Hungry, Kenya? a boy in the back asks.
His voice has knives in it.
He holds up an apple half eaten.

None for me, thank-you, I say,
using my polite English words.
And my home, I add,
is not Kenya. It's Sudan.

He tosses the apple across the room.
It lands on my desk
and drops to the floor.

My homeroom teacher
looks up from his newspaper.
Can the flying fruit, he says.

Of course, I don't want
the apple to be wasted.
I pick it up off the floor
and throw it back to the boy.

It hits him on the nose.
I'm a fine thrower of rocks and balls.
It is not my fault the boy moved.

The teacher gives me a detention slip.
I'm not sure what this slip means,
but I do know I'm the only one in class
who receives one.

I feel very lucky
to be selected by my teacher
for such an honor.

agustinargentina1 Jun 03, 2013

Really touching but you have to dig in to this book because you won't you won't understand it unless you really dig into this book.

OranguTang Jan 08, 2013

I wasn't sure I would like this book since it's written in more of poetry style but I didn't find it distracting or irritating. I really enjoyed the story and it's a great view into how new immigrants adjust to life and how their personality and attitude can affect their experience (the difference between Kek and his cousin, Ganwar). Highly recommended.

Oct 23, 2012

BOOKS 2 U book.

Jan 28, 2012

Katherine Applegate is best known for her juvenile science fiction series, The Animorphs, so this book was a complete surprise. It is a story, told in verse, of a gentle refugee named Kek. He's a teenager from the Sudan. The culture shock of his arrival in Minnesota is both hysterically funny and really sad. Sometimes it achieves both emotions in the same scene. What finally grounds Kek to his new and baffling world is a cow. The Sudanese value cows highly. Kek's people measure wealth in cows, and honor those who care for them. When Kek finds a job on a small farm caring for an elderly cow, he also finds himself. He is reborn in his own eyes (and in the eyes of everyone around him) as Kek, the cowboy.

I loved, loved, loved this book. My daughter and I laughed and cried when we read it together, and we both cheered on Kek. I think that you'll really enjoy it too. Read it for an alien cultural view point, brilliantly portrayed. Read it for the joy of a redemption story. Or read it for the cow. I don't care, so long as you read it.

Jun 11, 2011

I read this book and was so impressed by the author's compassion. Her unusual way of telling the story makes the book one that everyone should read.--adults as well as young readers. I can't stop thinking about Kev and his new life in America.

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navy_dog_510 Apr 27, 2015

navy_dog_510 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jul 01, 2012

violet_whale_33 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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Oct 23, 2012

Kek arrives from an African refugee camp and now lives with his aunt and cousin in snowy Minnesota. His new life is strange and he is lonely for Mama. Friendship with a cow helps, also with a foster girl. Refugee story.

EPLPicks_Teen Mar 13, 2010

Kek, a refugee from Sudan, encounters many strange things at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, and longs for his missing mother, but finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner. Grade 4 - 9


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