From the author of the Animorphs series comes this earnest novel in verse about an orphaned Sudanese war refugee with a passion for cows, who has resettled in Minnesota with relatives.
Arriving in winter, Kek spots a cow that reminds him of his father’s herd, a familiar sight in an alien world. Later he returns with Hannah, a friendly foster child, and talks the cow’s owner into hiring him to look after it. When the owner plans to sell the cow, Kek becomes despondent. Full of wide-eyed amazement and unalloyed enthusiasm for all things American, Kek is a generic—bordering on insulting—stereotype. His tribe, culture and language are never identified; personal details, such as appearance and age, are vague or omitted. Lacking the quirks and foibles that bring characters to life, Kek seems more a composite of traits designed to instruct readers than an engaging individual in his own right.
Despite its lackluster execution, this story’s simple premise and basic vocabulary make it suitable for younger readers interested in the plight of war refugees.(Fiction. 9-11)