Kek is a refugee from Sudan, fleeing his home after the deaths of much of his family. He is sent to his family in the United States, where he struggles to learn the language and understand the culture. His new school seems like a paradise of freedom to Kek, but he feels isolated until he meets Hannah, a girl who befriends him and helps him navigate the complexities of his new life. But even with Hannah’s friendship, he won’t forget the mystery of what happened to his mother—and the question of whether she’s alive at all.
Home of the Brave is the story of Kek’s struggle in a foreign new home, told in free verse. It is deeply relatable, sometimes funny, a book about change, prejudice, coming of age, and so much more. This is a book to be discussed in book groups, a simple story with a deepness which will remain in reader’s minds. I think Home of the Brave would appeal to fans of books like The Year of the Dog and Other Words for Home, centering around people from other cultures finding a way in a world which sees their identity as their home country, and not who they are. I would recommend Home of the Brave to readers ages ten and up.