I know it has only been two days since I posted, but I really keep looking for a way to introduce this book to you. Thank you Amanda at The Teaching Thief for having Fiction Friday, now I get to share.
Have you ever heard of Narrative Poetry? I hadn't until I came across this set of books in my closet in my new 6th Grade classroom and started reading the book. It was quite interesting how I came across it. My students and I had just finished reading "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbit, and they were dying to read another novel. So I went into my closet and started searching. My choices that the district recommends were Manic McGee, Esperanza Rising, and Home of the Brave. I started reading the previews of each and Home of the Brave caught me, because it was about a refugee from Africa who had come to America and his "adventure" as he adjusted. We were studying Africa, so it sounded like a perfect fit.
In this book, each chapter or section is written as a poem. Hummm, Poems, fiction, I can teach lots with this I thought.
What is the basis of this book, well it is about this boy, Kek, who lost his father and brother in Africa as a part of the war, and they can't find his mother. So he is sent to America as a refugee to live with his Aunt and his cousin. He has so much to learn. First of all he is traveling from Africa to Minnesota. He doesn't know much English and to top it off, the culture is completely different.
The first line in the first chapter is something like (hey my book is at school, I'm not, so I have to paraphrase), "The flying boat arrived back on Earth, and I looked out the round thing and saw white all over the ground." Flying Boat, Round thing, and white on the ground. What is he talking about? Hello figurative language (I can teach this too). He was talking about a Airplane, looking out the window, and seeing snow. That is the first of many confusions Kek has in terms of America and how things are so different.
I found that my students really liked this book, and even though it was at a 6th grade level, I could see any grade 4th and up doing it with guidance, and 3rd probably doing it as a read aloud with discussion.
I would recommend this to any teacher to read with their class. The understanding of people coming from other countries and what they have to face is unbelievable. Not to mention learning about culture from another country all at the same time.
Happy Reading. If you are interested in more about this book, click on the picture and it will connect you to Barnes and Nobles website to find out more.
If you want to find more literature that teachers are suggesting connect up with Amanda and her Fiction Friday.