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Home of the Brave

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  3,146 ratings  ·  611 reviews
A man I helped to settle here
taught me a saying from Africa.
I’ll bet you would like it:
A cow is God with a wet nose.

Kek comes from Africa where he lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived. Now she’s missing, and Kek has been sent to a new home. In America, he sees snow for the first time, and feels its sting. He wonders if the pe
Paperback, 267 pages
Published December 23rd 2008 by Square Fish (first published August 21st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This is the story of a young Sudanese boy, one of the "Lost Boys," who comes to the U.S. to live with his aunt and cousin and tries to adjust to life in a new land. Things like snow and American food are new, he barely knows the language, and, above all, he's anxious that they find his mother in a refugee camp and send her to be with him.

I think anyone reading this book is bound to come away with a new appreciation for the courage it takes to emigrate to a new place, especially after experiencin
Have you ever went to a public library or school library, trying to look for a common book? Well today is your lucky day, My book is called Home of the Brave. The genre is Realistic Fiction.My opinion on this book is I liked it, at first I took it because it had short words and paragraphs. But once i started reading it I was starting to get the hang of it. I liked how the author described the way the character Kek was talking because he was not from the country. When he arrived to America, he c ...more
Sherrie Petersen
I never thought I would read a novel in verse. Somehow the concept made me think of William Wordsworth or Burt Bacharach. Or Dr. Seuss. And to be honest, I didn't want to read anything written by those people for 200 pages or more.

But last year someone gave me Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas. I ignored it for a while, let it sit on the shelf. But let me tell you, when I finally opened it, I couldn't put it down. I was blown away.

So this year I was actually excited when I got my hands on
Destinee Sutton
As I go to write this review, I'm reminded of Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, which I reviewed pretty negatively because I was distracted by its literary shortcomings as I was reading it. A lot of other goodreads reviewers told me I completely missed the point of Out of My Mind. They told me that it was such an important book for throwing light on a kind of life most kids don't know much about it. How could I criticize it so harshly?!

Well, that's kind of how I feel about this book. I've read s
Amber Kaldy
An awful thing has happened in Africa where Kek lived. A war has killed his father and brother and there is no where knowing where his mother is, since the night he left her. He travels all the way to the America, on a "flying boat." He meets a girl named Hannah that lives in his building that he is staying at with his aunt and cousin, Ganwar. Kek faces many challenges, but makes friends on his journey. A cow that he named Gol, lives with a friend Lou, an old lady, he met on the way to the build ...more
Jul 14, 2008 booklady rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to booklady by: Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Incredible book! A tender story about a young African refugee to America struggling to not only learn our strange language, customs and changing patterns, but also cope with a bitter Minnesota winter, the violent deaths of his nuclear family and growing up in a foreign country. And yet despite the sorrows of Kek's young life, it is positive, hopeful and joyous story. His analogies for everyday things like airplanes, snow, and even beards is what makes Applegate's story so poignant and page-turn- ...more
A simple read, much like the people I have frequently worked with over the years. The tale is one which I can relate to , which is "Hey, I don't speak your language yet but I'm working on it"; the other message is let folks figure out what they need to do or who they need to be, and move on from there. The end is semi-predictable, but for once is a feel-good in this world of "Reality crap" that pollutes our minds. About time someone wins not only once but twice. Contrary to popular media, there ...more
I am always impressed by authors who can speak in the voice of a non-english speaker, and still make the story clear and strong. Kek is a boy who can find the sun on a cloudy day and his words are those of an African boy using the world he knows to describe a world that is foreign to him. Both the characterizations and descriptions of America are crisp and clear. Applegate invokes all the sadness of the attrocities in Sudan, and also keeps the story accessible to children.
Ms. Foley
Wow--if you want a book that reaches in and GRABS your heart, this is the one! The author writes the story in verse, kind of like a series of poems, so it's fast to read, but every word has so much weight and meaning. I imagine there will be a lot of refugees from Haiti coming soon, so it's very relevent. It is one of the 2010-2011 Bluebonnets too.
Katie Fritz
Kek has just come to America to live with his Aunt and cousin, after a war in Africa. That war that killed Kek's dad and brother. While he's here he has to learn English, adapt to the different technology, and wait, as patiently as he can, for his mom. While there, he makes new friends, and falls in love with a cow on a ranch, because it reminds him of home, one of the only familiar things in this unfamiliar new land. From there he gets a job, and starts to really discover how incredible this ne ...more
My younger son is in the fifth grade (the same age as Kek, the protagonist of the book) and his entire school (including faculty and interested parents) is reading this book. I read along with him and was really moved by this beautifully written story of a Sudanese boy who resettles in the United States after losing his father and brother to the civil war.

Ms. Applegate does a wonderful job of describing the horrors of what has happened to Kek without being gratuitous and while remaining sensiti
I thought this book was really emotional and full of things that you wouldn't understand if you had never been in that situation, loved it!
Crystal Hammon
Jul 04, 2008 Crystal Hammon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids AND adults
Shelves: kids-and-adults
Home of the Brave, by Katherine Applegate
Reviewed by Crystal Hammon

It's not hard to cherish a friend who allows you to have a good, long cry without being affected by the ugliness of sadnesses unleashed in their liquid form. Every now and then, a book comes along that offers a similar kindness, immersing and indulging us in its great sadness for our own good.

Home of the Brave, Katherine Applegate's first stand-alone novel for children, has that distinction. In the sparest writing possible, Apple
L13 Tracy Beling
Golden Kite Award winner for fiction.

This book was very moving and informative. It tells the story of a boy named Kek who is a refugee of Sudan. His family is gone and he has been relocated to Minnesota to live with his aunt and cousin who also left Sudan. The book expresses the difficulty immigrants face when trying to assimilate to America. Here is one of the humorous moments.

"Hey, I say back,
but I can't talk anymore
because my mouth is already
full of new tastes.

Excuse me, I say when I have swa
Ch_beth Rice
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate tells the story of Kek, a young refugee from Sudan. He was able to escape the violence of his home and join his aunt and cousin in Minnesota but struggles with the guilt of surviving while his father and brother were killed and his mother went missing. Kek is baffled by the cold and snow when he first arrives and continues to learn about his new home through some funny experiences such as washing dishes in the wash machine and some upsetting racist experi ...more
Nathan L.
Summary: 'Home of the Brave' is a book about a kid from Sudan named Kek. Kek is struggling with normal teenage problems and the fact that he has been separated from his mother. Kek is now living in America while his mother is yet to be found in Africa. Kek struggles as he gains friends and family to help with his troubles and theirs. In this well written book by Katherine Applegate you will take a journey into the shoes of a teenager; trying to survive the rough new changes of life in America.

Katherine Applegate's HOME OF THE BRAVE is another novel in verse that will appeal to boys as well as girls. It may help that plenty of middle grade readers already know Applegate from the ANIMORPHS series, but this book has a completely different feel to it.

HOME OF THE BRAVE is about Kek, a Sudanese immigrant who recently arrived in America after witnessing the death of his father and brother. He left his mother behind and wonders every day if she is alive. The poems that explore Kek's emotiona
Joe Barrios
Home of the brave is a book about a boy name kek that comes from Africa and goes through some hard times.
Once kek got to America he was looking around and he doesn't know anything.Also when he see's a new country and new things but many questions going through his mind.Although when its his first day at school kek looks all confused knowing whats a desk?? and whats a french fire?? but days and months were passing by so fast that he was wanted a job and he he got it the reason why he got it was
This was recommended by one of our children's librarians as a companion book to God Grew Tired of Us. It is written for upper elementary age students on up, but I enjoyed it as an adult. Told in free verse, it is the story of Kek, a young Sudanese immigrant. We see his first look at snow, his joy at seeing a cow, his fear of things different than those in his home country. We can feel his grief at the loss of his father and brother, and of not knowing if his mother is still alive. It is a beauti ...more
I loved this book! It is interesting to see how different America is to Africa culture-wise. Kek (the protagonist) is very new to America and everything is very new to him. He couldn't believe the fact that school was free and that people can use flying-boats (airplanes) as a way of transportation. I just wonder why the author made the words into short spaced-out sentences. It changes the whole way of reading it to yourself. As he progresses in the "New World" he takes care of a frail old lady's ...more
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Very fast read--took me one afternoon. The book is about a fifth grade boy who immigrates here (Minneapolis) from Sudan. He comes in the dead of winter, and has to learn everything "over"...he's never slept on a pillow, had running water, been to a grocery store, etc. This novel, written in narrative poetry, is beautifully written, very moving, funny, and wonderfully true to what it is like for so many of the Africans who are settling here in MN following the wars i ...more
Home of the Brave, by Katherine Applegate, is an amazing story of how a boy moves to America from Sudan. Home of the Brave is from the multicultural genre, these books are usually about people that are different from you, it can be people from a different religion, people from different places, etc. This book talks about Sudanese "lost boy" refugees. The book begins as a boy named Kek gets off the plane in Minneapolis from Sudan. His father and brother are dead, and his mom is missing, so he goe ...more
Megan Cureton
"I stroke her cold, wet coat, and for a moment I hold all I've lost and all I want right there in my hand." This was one of the many quotes that stood out to me in this story about entering a new land. Kek, is from Africa and had come to America to stay with his Aunt and cousin. Kek witnessed his father and brother get killed, but still wasn't sure about his Mama. "You come here to make a new life, but the old life is still haunting you." This was another quote that stood out to me in this story ...more
Gael  Lynch
Kek is a delightful protagonist, a boy from South Sudan, who has come to America to join his aunt and cousin, Ganwar.
The story begins with his arrival on the 'flying boat', a mode of transportation one can only dream of in Sudan.
Kek's father and brother have both died at the hands of the 'men with guns', and his mother has not been found.
We travel through Kek's life, watching him connect that feeling of home to a single half-starved cow, the symbol of all he's left behind. This story is writt
This book really moved me. I loved it because it made me feel so many things…laughter, tears, blessings…
Kek is a 10 year old African refugee (from Sudan) who has moved to America (bitter cold Minnesota nonetheless!). He moves in with an aunt and older cousin who had escaped the refugee camp earlier. Kek’s father and brother have been killed in the civil wars in his home country and his mother is missing. He struggles not only to learn our strange language, customs and changing patterns, but als
Ed Casey
The challenges that refugees face are often quite daunting. For the fortunate few refugees that are selected to come to the United States, the adjustment to a new culture often proves to be a major struggle as well. Just because the refugee is more physically safe it doesn't mean that they now enjoy a stress free life. Kek, is a 5th grade refugee from Sudan. His father and brother were killed by soldiers, and his mother is missing. He was sent to live with his aunt and cousin in Minnesota. Kek s ...more
A Sudanese refugee boy adjusts to life in the U.S. This was recommended to my daughter and I by a librarian after we told her how much we liked "The One and Only Ivan." This has a similar writing style and is equally touching and humbling just how much we have.

"Of all the things I didn't know
about America,
this is the most amazing;
I didn't know
there would be so many tribes
from all over the world.
How could I have imagined
the way they walk through the world
side by side
without fear,
all free to gaze
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I loved Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan, so when the little girl I nanny insisted I read this book, I readily agreed, and read it in the course of two hours. This is a wonderful book of free verse poetry, and I have to admit I cried through quite a few of the lovely poems.

The main character's name is Kek, and he is a Lost Boy of Sudan. After his village was destroyed by soldiers and his father and brother killed, Kek and his mother fled to a refugee camp. When the camp in turn was a
2010 list-This is the first book I've read in verse that I've enjoyed. A Sudanese refugee moves to Minnesota. The language is simple, yet the story is very moving. My son's 2nd grade teacher read it aloud to the class, but I think more mature readers may pick up on the nuances of the story and get much more out of it. I thought it was wonderful and a very quick read due to it being in verse. So far it is my favorite RC for the year.
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Applegate was born in Michigan in 1956. Since then she has lived in Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, and after living in Pelago, Italy for a year, she has moved back to Southern California. She has an eleven year old son named Jake Mates, although she says the Animorph leader is not named after him. In 2003 she and her husband, Michael Grant, her co-author on many p ...more
More about Katherine Applegate...
The One and Only Ivan The Invasion (Animorphs, #1) Beach Blondes: June Dreams, July's Promise, August Magic (Summer, #1-3) The Visitor (Animorphs, #2) The Encounter (Animorphs, #3)

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“About chocolate: "This is what laughing tastes like.” 8 likes
“I remember something my mama
used to say on dark days:
If you can talk, you can sing.
If you can walk, you can dance.

Ganwar, I whisper,
what if she never comes?”
More quotes…