Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate is a poignant and heartwarming story of a young Sudanese boy who arrives in Minnesota after escaping from the devastation and genocide in his homeland. Upon arriving in the US, Kek faces many obstacles from a limited grasp of English, to confusion about American society and customs, and the recurring painful memories of the horrors he experienced in Sudan, including the loss of his family.
Kek tells his story in the first-person, present tense which allows the story to unfold in his and the reader’s real time. Perhaps the most powerful technique Applegate uses in allowing Kek to tell his story is by rendering the entire narrative in verse. Kek’s culture is one of storytelling in song and it’s clear that his natural way of thinking is lyrical. The clear, simple and straightforward nature of the language choice and usage makes the story even more powerful and rich. Everything that is needed to convey Kek’s thoughts, observations, confusion, hope, grief, and personal journey is rendered beautifully in his “music.”
- Posted by Cori Ashley