Home of the Brave
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Home of the Brave

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  2,498 ratings  ·  522 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...more
Paperback, 267 pages
Published December 23rd 2008 by Square Fish (first published August 21st 2007)
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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...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...more
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...more
booklady
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
Bear
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
Chrissy
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.
Laura
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...more
Kate
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...more
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...more
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.

O...more
Kate
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...more
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...more
Candice
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
Moe
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
Siri
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
Deb
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...more
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
Donna
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...more
Jeanne
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.
Kimberly
A wonderful read about a Sudanese boy who is relocated to Minnesota in the dead of winter. Christian enjoyed it also. I can't stop thinking about his tearful reaction to his first grocery store visit and how it made him think of the baby he saw die of starvation in the camp. I haven't read all the others, but this is my vote so far for the 2011 Texas Bluebonnet.
Brian Henderson
Have you ever known someone that came from a different part of the world to the united states but really didn't understand the american way of life? Also had to stay with there aunt because they didn't know were there parents were? If you don't then let me talk to you about a kid named kek. The genre of this book is fiction. I think this is a very great book and really sad and funny at the same time.
The setting of this story is in minnesota during the winter time. kek is a kid from africa that...more
John
This book was very charming and eye-opening. Simple, and told through the eyes of a boy who came to America because of the Sudanese Civil War, Kek shows us all that we can make a difference in the world simply by believing that we can.

The book is written in a type of short verse, so it is a very quick read.
Kelly
Take care not to pigeon-hole this as a children's book. The novel is lyrically written with touching images from the eyes of a Sudanese immigrant. However, it toes the line of overgeneralization, lacks complexity, and brings very little originality to the already crowded genre of immigrant children in the US.
Michelle Figueroa
when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. -African proverb
The genre of this book i think is realistic fiction. I really like this book I think the main character Kek was funny him not meaning to be though. ***spoiler alert***

The setting of home of the brave is in Minnesota. Kek wanted to escape the fighting but he wasn't with his mother they had gotten separated. All Kek wanted to do was to see his mother again. His dad and brother had been killed so he didnt really have anybody. The...more
Ellen Brandt
A beautiful tale of a child starting a new life in a new country after surviving atrocity in his native land. The length of this book may have dissuaded my elementary school patrons from giving it a try, but it is written in a poetic format and is actually a pretty quick read.
Marija
I loved this book. Seeing America through the eyes of Kek,a Sudanese lost boy, was an eye opening experience for me. This book will not dissappoint. This would be a great book to use in a unit on U.S. immigration.
Sophie Zapoli


Actually a 3.5. I didn't really have high expectations for this book so it was better than I thought it was going to be but I couldn't get over how annoying Kek was plus the weird cover is going to give me nightmares. Kek looks like a creepy wooden doll head a little off balance with a flattened face, wrapped in cotton balls, and looking like he's hallucinating. This was an okay book about immigration but I think it would have more of an impact on younger children closer in age to the main char...more
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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) The Visitor (Animorphs, #2) Beach Blondes: June Dreams, July's Promise, August Magic (Summer, #1-3) 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?”
4 likes
More quotes…