Brothers of Hope, winner of the 2006 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrator Honor and the 2006 American Library Association Notable Book Award, is a powerful book about inner strength, believing in oneself and perseverance through hardships.
Garang Deng is a little boy who grew up in southern Sudan. Along with thousands of other boys, their families are lost during attacks in the war. These boys come together and travels thousands of miles to refugee camps, during which time they form bonds and learn how to rely on themselves and eachother for help and support.
Garang finds himself becoming a leader of a group of boys. Upon arriving at a refugee camp, he meets an American man, Tom, who helps educate Garang and the boys. However, the war comes to camp and Tom has to leave, leaving Garang in charge of the refugee camp. Years later Tom returns to the camp to tell the boys that the U.S. has offered them all a home. Afraid of the future, Garang remembered his father’s advice: “Your heart and mind are strong. There is nothing you cannot do.”
The illustrations, by R. Gregory Christie, are made up of mainly earth tones. The author has chosen to use very simple words and sentences to get across a very serious point of history – this thus makes it very easy to read. For children, I think this book does a really great job of presenting a very serious issue in other worlds while representing the characteristics that connect humans and children everywhere: help those in need, believe in yourself, and push through hardships. This book is perfect in sharing many themes with children.
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover, 40 Pages
Published May 30, 2005 by Lee & Low Books