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A man I helped to settle here
Taught me a saying from Africa.
I bet you would like it:
A cow is God with a wet nose.

Kek comes from Africa where he lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived. Now she's missing, and Kek has been sent to a new home. In America, he sees snow for the first time, and feels its sting. He wonders if the people in this new place will be like the winter—cold and unkind. But slowly he makes friends: a girl in foster care, an old woman with a rundown farm, and a sweet, sad cow that reminds Kek of home. As he waits for word of his mother's fate, Kek weathers the tough Minnesota winter by finding warmth in his new friendships, strength in his memories, and belief in his new country.

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"Beautiful. Thank you for publishing this book. Thank Katherine Applegate for writing it."—Karen Hesse

"Moving... Kek is both a representative of all immigrants and a character in his own right."—School Library Journal, Starred Review

"Precise, high accessible language evokes a wide range of emotions and simultaneously tells an initiation story. A memorable inside view of an outsider."—Publishers Weekly

"This beautiful story of hope and resilience. . . is an almost lyrical story."—Voice of Youth Advocates


Katherine Applegate is the author of The One and Only Ivan winner of the Newbery Medal. Her most recent novel for F&F Crenshaw, spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseler list, and her first middle-grade stand-alone, Home of the Brave (also F&F) continues on state reading lists, summer reading lists, and class reading lists. Katherine Applegate lives in Tiburon, California, with her family.





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