Home of the Brave
After tragedy strikes in Sudan, Kek is separated from his family and goes to live in Minnesota, where everything is different from home - the food, the language, the climate. It is hard to find your way in a new world when you are missing so much - and so uncertain about your future.
This is a book in verse by the author of The One and Only Ivan and Wishtree. As with those stories, an outsider protagonist is meant to reveal things to readers that they may take for granted - things they might appreciate more or things they should take time to question or change. Also common to those stories is a fairly simplistic voice, using short phrases and some humor to point out truths. Because this character is a boy and not a tree or an ape, these elements are uncomfortable; the story is not authentic to Kek's viewpoint, instead, he is a vehicle for North American readers to step back and look at themselves. Some of the interpretations seem condescending - "a TV machine," or "a flying boat," when it is likely a Sudanese person would identify these things. With those reservations in mind, I enjoyed this book, the writing style, and Kek's coming of age story.
"Remember when you were
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