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April 16, 2014

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Pick of the Day: The Good Braider

star Pick of the Day: The Good Braiderthe good braider Pick of the Day: The Good BraiderFARISH , Terry. The Good Braider. 222p. maps. Amazon. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7614-6267-5; ebook $7.99. ISBN 978-0-7614-6268-2. LC 2011033659.
Gr 9 UpThe Good Braider follows Viola on a journey from her home in ravaged Sudan to Cairo and finally to the folds of a Sudanese community in Maine. Viola’s story, told in free verse, is difficult to read without a constant lurking sense of both dread and hope. In the opening scene she gazes at the curve of the back of a boy walking the street in front of her, only to view his senseless execution moments later. This tension never completely dissipates, though it takes on different forms throughout her story; by the end it is replaced not by the fear of execution or of the lecherous soldier who forces her to trade herself for her family’s safety, but by the tension of walking the line between her mother’s cultural expectations and the realities of her new country. Yet while Farish so lyrically and poignantly captures Viola’s wrenching experience leaving her home, navigating the waiting game of refugee life, and acculturating into the United States, she’s equally successful in teasing out sweet moments of friendship and universal teenage experiences. Viola’s memorable, affecting voice will go far to help students step outside of their own experience and walk a mile in another’s shoes.–Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ

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  1. [...] “…while Farish so lyrically and poignantly captures Viola’s wrenching experience leaving her home, navigating the waiting game of refugee life, and acculturating into the United States, she’s equally successful in teasing out sweet moments of friendship and universal teenage experiences. Viola’s memorable, affecting voice will go far to help students step outside of their own experience and walk a mile in another’s shoes.”  School Library Journal **starred review** [...]

  2. [...] a starred review, School Library Journal says, “…Farish so lyrically and poignantly captures Viola’s wrenching experience…” and [...]