RachelAnne's Reviews > Home of the Brave

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
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Apr 11, 2009

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bookshelves: youngadult, childrens
Read in March, 2009

A beautiful book, but not exactly a pleasure to read. Kek, a ten year-old refugee from the Sudan, arrives in Minnesota alone but insists that his mother will join him soon. His homesickness for a hot, sunny home of big skies, family and cows is poignant and convincing, but Kek is also delightfully optimistic and naively thrilled with new revelations like chocolate chip cookies, libraries and washing machines. It's an important book in that it shows kids how hard life is even for they "lucky ones" who escape war zones. Still, the verse format may hold many young readers at arm's distance from a subject already (for most of them, thankfully,) far from their experience. When an adult paid to read this book is dragging herself to pick it up again, thinking "It's beautifully written and poignant, but I'd rather read something more fun," it doesn't bode well for a book's popularity. This year's committee seems to have been keen on depressing "issue" books, particularly if they're written in verse.
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Tiffany Our 5th and 6th grade elementary read it for their "all school read." It was part of their immigration curriculum. The kids really enjoyed it and for the most part whipped through it. The humor keep them going :-)


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