HOME OF THE BRAVE! Plus 14 COWS FOR AMERICA! Perfect for Immigrant Studies!

Rated 4.83 out of 5, based on 12 reviews
12 Ratings
Kids Wings
Grade Levels
5th - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
110 pages
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Kids Wings



A realistic historical fiction NOVEL written in verse tells the story of an African refugee who journeys from hardship in Africa to hope in America. It brings to life the real problems of immigrants who struggle with language, gangs, and finding friendship. It inspires others to open their arms in welcome to those who are different. It is paired with an elegant nonfiction PICTURE BOOK set in Africa just nine months after America’s 9-11 to reveal the generosity of the small Massai tribe that reached across the ocean to help a hurting giant.

HOME OF THE BRAVE by Katherine Applegate


Kek is a refugee.




His father is dead.

His brother is dead.

His mother is missing.

His herd has been stolen.

His home has been destroyed.

He has been rescued from the wars in his country.

What will he do when he arrives in America?

Will he find it to be heaven on earth as they all said in the camp?

Kek might be in your ESL class, learning English with you.

Maybe, your ESL teachers, like Kek's, give you hope as you learn.

Maybe you, like Kek, have ghosts that haunt you from your past.

Perhaps you, too, have heard the taunts of your classmates because you look and sound different from them.

Hopefully, you have a sense of humor, an optimist attitude, and a good brain like Kek to help you find your cow.

But, maybe you haven't.

Maybe you were born in America.

Maybe you have always had enough to eat.

Maybe you have not lost someone you loved in a war you didn't understand.

Maybe you have chosen to become a friend to one who is new, frightened, and confused.

Home of the Brave is a one-of-a-kind, poetic narrative, written in the first person by Kek through metaphors and similes that paint pictures when he has no words. His story will encourage you to reach out to those who are different, to learn about the problems in Africa, and to find a place in your heart for the Keks around you.



The Massai are poor village people in a small African village in Kenya. Once feared warriors, they now are nomadic herders with respect for gentleness and compassion.

One of their young men is awarded a scholarship to attend college in New York City, in the United States of America. He comes home to visit in the summer of 2002. He brings with him a terrible story that has burned a hole in his heart, a story his people have not heard. The story of September 11th. The story so moves the Massai that they decide to give the wounded nation the thing that is most cherished to them.

FOURTEEN COWS FOR AMERICA is the touching memory witnessed by one far from home and stirring compassion in every reader. "'Because there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort." from Fourteen Cows for America

Filled with figurative language, the story echos the most beautiful human and literary qualities. Emotional watercolors in full page layouts punctuate the story's impact.

The 37-page literature guide written by Suzy Red for HOME OF THE BRAVE contains the following activities in PDF and PowerPoint format:

Discussion Cards

Anticipation Guide

Map Study

Research the Violence in Sudan

2-page Readers’ Theater Introduction

Making Connection--Predict/Confirm Chapter Questions

Multiple Choice Comprehension Activities

Character Studies

Words that Paint Pictures

Crossword Puzzle

Changing Voice and Genre

Visualizing the Story--2 pages

Questions for Discussion and Writing for Reviewing Part 2

Write about Your Emotional Foods

Sequencing Part 3

A Comic Book Story of Kek's Idea in Action

Writing Prompts

Answer Keys

PLUS 53-slide interactive Jeopardy-Type game in PowerPoint format.

***We highly recommend JUNEBUG by Alice Mead as a companion book. Our literature guide is built around RESILIENT CHILD RESEARCH which ties in perfectly with Home of the Brave. It is a classic, small and poignant!


The 20-page literature guide written by Suzy Red for FOURTEEN COWS FOR AMERICA contains the following activities in PDF and PowerPoint format:

Discussion Cards

Anticipation Guide

2-page Readers’ Theater Script September 11, 2001, Nonfiction

Vocabulary List

Predict/Confirm Questions

Multiple Choice Comprehension

Research Guide

Math Activities

Expressive Writing: What's Important to Me

MA'S CAVE SOAP Writing Elaboration Techniques

Compassion Discussion

Gifts from the Heart Chart

Two Math Pages

Kimeli Sees New York, A Logic Puzzle

Creative Thinking with Cows

Answer Pages


PLEASE NOTE: Kids Wings materials are written by highly experienced master teachers. We hire professional proof readers who are also master educators. We do our best to be sure each of our literature guides is top quality and error free, and classroom tested, but if you think we can do better, we welcome your input. If you find an error in our materials, please email us at suzy@suzyred.com so we can make corrections. After it is corrected, we will invite you to download a newly polished copy and will probably attach a surprise to our reply as a thank-you!

Our graphics are original or from Art Explosion which is available to you through this link: http://amzn.to/2pdCd1x

If you like our materials, we would be very grateful if you would follow us, give us some stars, and let us and others know!

Total Pages
110 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 months
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