Diana Hanke's Reviews > 14 Cows for America

14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy
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Dec 18, 09

Read in December, 2009

What a beautiful story of human compassion and sacrifice. 14 Cows for America tells the story of a young man,Kimeli, who belongs to the Maasai, nomadic hunters who live in a small village in Kenya. He has left his beloved village to study in America. While in New York City, he experiences the devastation of September 11th. It breaks his heart, and in his desire to share hope with those who lost so much, he vows to sacrifice his only cow. Cows to the Maasai are life. They raise them and love them as part of their families. Kimeli returns to his village to share the story with his people and to participate in a sacred ceremony of blessing on his cow. On the day of the ceremony, the American Ambassador to Kenya arrives at the Maasai village. Here he finds a day of sacred ceremony and celebration which ends with the sacrifice not only of Kimeli's cow but of 13 other cows. The Maasai present them to Americans to show how deeply they feel the losses of September 11th. These cows are to never be slaughtered and are kept in a special preserve in Kenya. The breathtaking story is made more poignant by the breathtaking artwork. The bold oranges and reds, the expressive features of the Maasai people absolutely portray the deep sacrifice and beautiful presentation made by a people so far away from America. The book is most appropriate for grades K - 4, but it is a story that all ages can appreciate and need to experience.
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