Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate


When civil war rages in Sudan, Kek is forced first to a refugee camp and then to the United States. He has seen his father and brother killed and has been separated from his mother. Home of the Brave follows Kek’s adjustment from his small farming village in Sudan to the freezing winters in Minnesota. In spite of such hardship, Kek’s charmingly optimistic voice finds beauty and hope in the world and the people around him.

Home of the Brave is one of my favorite books yet. Having worked closely with many African refugees, this book echoes what I saw of these wonderful people. These amazing refugees leave death and pain and are thrown into a new and frightening culture, but they bring light. Katherine Applegate’s beautiful verse and excellent characterization perfectly expose young readers to the refugee experience. I hope many children (and adults) can read about Kek and see the world through his eyes.

Recommended ages--9 and up (great family read aloud)

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