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Home of the Brave

by Katherine Applegate

Take a LOOK INSIDE the book

Introduce this beautifully told tale with this book trailer that captures the essence of Kek.
Book trailer source: librarian Analine Johnson from Laredo, Texas.

Next, show this trailer of Katherine Applegate promoting her book: Home of the Brave

********Home of the Brave book trailer********

Learn more about the author-Katherine Applegate biography

Eleven-year-old Kek, a Sudanese refugee has faced horrific tragedies in his homeland of Africa. His father and brother were murdered and he was separated from his mother before he immigrated to America. He tries to keep hope alive that he will someday be rejoined with his mother. Kek moves to Minnesota, a land of ice and snow, to live with his aunt and cousin. Everything is so new and different and Kek often feels lost and lonely in this strange new world and finds it difficult to adjust to this new life. A neighbor girl befriends him and he finds a job taking care of a cow, which is what he was accustom to in Africa. The story is beautifully told through free verse with frequent use of similes and metaphors. It is a quiet, introspective tale that makes the reader wish they could choose their own words as beautifully as Kek does.

What you should know about Kek's country:
In Sudan, the largest African country, a civil war has been raging for decades, inflicting fear and terror into its people since 1955. Soldiers attack villages killing at random and leaving thousands of children orphaned. This conflict continues to be one of the most horrifying tragedies in world history. Kek is a fictional character, but his story reflects the reality experienced by real children. Kek has been relocated to a land filled with ice and snow that is nothing like his African home.

Lost boys of Sudan-Katherine Applegate connects with a sixth grade class after hearing how Home of the Brave motivated them to make a life changing difference for one of the "Lost boys of Sudan".

Who were the Lost Boys of Sudan Read an excerpt of the book by Mark Bixler that provides insight into the phenomenon of the lost boys.

bluebonnet_clipart.gifBluebonnet Teaching Resources:

Home of the Brave Curriculum Guide William Allen White Children's Book Awards web site

Home of the Brave Teacher's Guide (PDF) created by Clifford Wohl

bluebonnet_clipart.gifTexas Bluebonnet Book Literature Connections:

14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy (2010-2011 TBA nominee) compare and contrast books.

Thinking about Kek and Kimeli Discussion Questions:

Hold a discussion comparing the tragedies both young men experienced in their lives.

How was Kek's experience different from Kimeli's experience?

Why did Kek experience so much trouble with the washing machine and other type appliances?

Kek and Kimeli demonstrate important character traits. Describe what you have observed about their character
and explain your thinking.

Why are cattle so important to both young men and their communities?

Are animals this important in your community? This will depend on where you live. In Texas, cattle are also very important to our economy, but few of us actually work with the cattle in our everyday lives.

It is difficult to understand what Kek and other children in war torn parts of the world have witnessed.

Stories of survival are always of great interest to children.
Try the following titles:
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
. Anne Frank's diary is the record of the German-Jewish teenager's experiences in the Netherlands from 1942 to 1944 during World War II.
Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic . Zlata Filipovic's diary is the 11-year-old girl's record of her changing life in her native country of Sarajevo during wartime.

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams/illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Publisher: Lee & Low Books ISBN: 9781584302322