Home of the Brave

Below are photos of Sudan, and a video of a refugee camp in Kenya, to better help you understand Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate. How does this background information help you understand the story we’re reading in class?

A boy in Sudan

A boy in Sudan. This is what Kek would have looked like.


Cattle herding in Sudan. Kek remembers herding his father’s cattle.                              Picture source: cartercenter.org


Cattle herding in Sudan. Compare these cows with the ones in the photo above. This could be Ganwar herding his father’s cattle.                                                                                                    Picture source: kwekudee-tripdownmemoryland.blogspot.com

CLICK HERE for a video about the effect of Sudan’s civil war on its people.

Can you find Sudan on this map? The country has now split into two countries: North Sudan and South Sudan. Kek is from South Sudan.

Can you find Sudan on this map? The country has now split into two countries: Sudan and South Sudan. Kek is from South Sudan.


  1.  Below, in the comment section, tell how seeing these pictures increases your understanding of Home of the Brave. Is this what you were picturing while reading the story? Has this background information helped you understand Kek better? How? Explain your thinking. Reply to someone else’s comment on this page.

♥ ♥♥ So pleased to receive a response to my students from author, Katherine Applegate. I’m sure she was pleased to hear from my students. These children are beginning to understand the power of the written word.


47 thoughts on “Home of the Brave

  1. I watched the video again to help me with the test tomorrow and i’m happy some of the boys at least got a place to stay. Some of them were homeless.

  2. Looking at these pictures and the video helped me understand how Kek’s life was. One reason it helped me is because I got to see how Kek lived his life. For example when I saw the boys reaction when coming to America I realized that they really didn’t know what it was like here. Where they lived they didn’t have any electricity or plumbing. In America there was all of that and a lot more so they must have felt overwhelmed.

  3. It helped me to understand how Kek has a hard life and how stressful it was to see sad and his brother die. It also shows me that it must have been hard to walk barefooted many miles. It also shows me how it’s hard and scary to live in a place where there is a lot of war and then travel on your own to a new continent. It showed me also that it’s scary to know if his mom is alive or not.

  4. I think kek had to learn at the and kek had to travel with the who escaped the war in sudan also he had to take care of the family by helping putting up the huts but then he got taken on a plane to USA.

  5. I understand Home Of The Brave better now because now I see how Kek’s life was like in Africa. I can visualize the Cattle better and seeing the pictures helped me understand how everything looked different from the United States. After seeing the video I understand how it must’ve been uncomfortable for the Africans to be around Whites. Kek and his family must’ve liked their home and knowing most people died really hurt me. They had to walk so far and had to make make-shift families. I feel bad for Kek and his family, knowing his mom may not be alive.

  6. These pictures helped me understand how Kek’s life in Sudan (South Sudan now) was like. Even though the pictures depict people in Sudan having to work very hard, they look happy.

  7. I feel now I can see why Kek though that a plane was a flying boat. If you look around in the first picture you can see nothing that you see in America. In America, you don’t see cows hanging out with people in town. And when you are in a town, you don’t see boys walking around with no shirts on. Seeing pictures of Keks environment helps me understand his life back in Sudan better.

  8. The information helped me understand Home of the Brave better because now I know how hard it would be living in Sudan. Most people did not have there parents and they were always walking miles and miles to get to safety.

  9. These pictures help me visualize home of the brave. And what kek probably looked like if he were real. And sorry I wrote this so late

  10. I think that all the information help me distinguish the parts of the story better. Therefore I can really feel and see what’s going on in the book. As you can see this show how much people in Africa are doing

  11. These pictures help me understand better about Home of the Brave because,it shows life in Sudan and makes me think more about how Kek struggled in U.S. I was picturing this a little differently but now I get a clearer message

  12. The pictures all had cattle in them, this makes me realize just how important cattle were to Kek’s culture. Before, I thought that cattle was just what his father did. Then, when I saw the first picture, how cattle were all around their huts, I noticed how cattle are a significant part of Kek’s home. Now I know that he wasn’t just reminded of his father when he saw the cow, he was reminded of his whole home, his old life. I also realize that Kek didn’t want to leave the cow because it was a huge part of his old life, when his father and brother were still alive, when he was with his mother.

  13. The pictures helped me visualize how hard it must of been for him to come to America, one example is that he could not speak English very well and he thinks it was easy for him in Sudan but he does not feel lucky to be in America even though he is lucky to be there, and most kids are not as lucky as him because they are still in the warzone and refugees.

  14. The information on the blog post helps me understand Kek better because after all those boys went through, life must be hard. The boys had so little of everything I can see why Kek is so surprised to go to a School! I understand what Kek thinks after I know what he has been through!

  15. I think Kek had to go through many tough decisions to his life even know he did not want to go through them.One example is he had to walk to the camp even know it was more than 1000 miles away.Another example is when Kek went to the United States of America he did not know the language but he still could make out what they where saying a little.

  16. This helps me know Kek better because after seeing that video I realized how hard it is to be separated from your family and walk miles to a camp. In the video it said from ages 10 to 5 walked to the camp. It’s ok walking to the camp but, having to do it alone, without family is craaaazzy. Kek must be relieved to came to America so there won’t be wars, but not relieved because he is basically it alone. Kek had to leave his whole life behind, to start a better life in America.

    • I didn’t get to see the video, so now I know what it was about. Walking by yourself when your five years old is strange. I do agree that coming to America was a bittersweet moment. Leaving your whole life behind must have been very difficult, but no wars? I wouldn’t know which one to choose if I were him. Learning a whole new language, and getting accustomed to extremely different things is something very hard. I dont know how I’d manage if I had to do that, with the added struggles of my dad, brother and cousins dead, my mom missing, and my cousins hand chopped off. Kek is a truly courageous person.

    • Gabbie,
      I also think that it would be rough to be walking so far without any relatives.It makes my feel super special to have family by my side.

  17. Now that i saw the video i understand how that was really hard. And why was it all boys i’m wondering if the women that weren’t killed fled before they would be killed?

  18. They make you see what Kek had to go through.It is very sad to see that they had to deal with this stuff.Like they had to walk mostly bear feet more then 1000 miles.And that some of there family may have died.But I am happy that some came to America to live a better life.But I think this is partaily the Britishes fault.

  19. I think Kek had a very tough life in Africa and had to go threw many changes. For example when Kek lived in Africa he had to work really hard and without his brother and his Dad it was proboly even harder because he missed them so much. When Kek moved to the U.S. many things were different like there was light switches, Heat, a toilet and a real bed. I think Kek lived a very tough life in Africa.

    • ella i think your right the U.S. and Africa are so diffrent . in the U.S. we don’t need to work but in Africa kids have to work for their living

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *