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Friday, February 22, 2008

Poetry Friday-Home of the Brave

I just finished a wonderful book, Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate [J APP]. Home of the Brave is a novel in verse about a young immigrant boy from Africa who arrives in Minnesota in the middle of winter.

In one of the early poems, "God with a Wet Nose," Kek sees a cow out of a car window and asks the driver to stop.

She moos,
a harsh and mournful sound.
It isn't the fault of the cow.
She doesn't know another way to talk.
She can't learn
the way I am learning,
by slow, slow

I stroke her cold, wet coat,
and for a moment I hold
all I've lost
and all I want
right there in my hand.

The poems are evocative and moving. Any child reading them will surely stop to think about how difficult it is to find one's self in a place where everything, from the language to the schools, is unfamiliar.

I'm a softy, I believe that books for children should end, if not happily, at least with hope. Home of the Brave has both--hope and happiness--what more could you ask for!

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