The Good Braider

The Good Braider

by Terry Farish

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761462675
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 05/31/2012
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: HL630L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

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The Good Braider 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Rumor_Has_It More than 1 year ago
To date, this has to possibly be the hardest review I’ve had to type. The best books are not only those that transport you to a far, far away alternate universe. Although I love those books very much, every now and then I have to be reminded of the ones that keep you grounded enough to thank whatever entity you believe in that you haven’t had to go through what others go through in this world. The best books will always remain, at least for me, those that make you FEEL, THINK and WONDER. Not only while you are reading but hours, days, months later. Great books embed themselves into your DNA. This is that kind of book. I signed up for Netgalley and this was the first book I requested and received. I saw the cover and title and had to read the description. I read the description and knew I would like this story. I read the story and walked away in love. I cannot begin to describe how much I felt this book mine, knowing fully well that it couldn’t be because I’m 34 and no I haven’t had to live with a war right outside my front door. Yet I could still relate and many parts of this book could be my story. Perhaps it’s because some of my ancestors are from Africa. “For this moment, let’s be free, I say to them. They could not know the dance of the journey I am just beginning, but they dance with me always.” Perhaps it’s because when my mind wanders it too sways to the beat of drums and they too beat “Be Free”. Perhaps it’s because I know what it’s like to live in the United States and your elders desperately want to hold on to their history, culture and traditions while raising you in a very different world because “no one in America is from America” yet are. This entire book is written in free verse, a poem if you will. It flows and you are instantly transported to Sudan where you meet Viola, her mother, brother and grandmother. You walk the streets as she does in constant fear until she escapes her town and then follow her to the United States as a refugee. This book was written by a WHITE woman, Terry Farish, who became a part of the Sudanese community in Maine in order to give Viola the most accurate/beautiful voice I have read to date. She did her research and did it incredibly well. As I mentioned before a great book is one that will stay with you and it has been a month since I’ve read this book and stuck with me it has. As I also mentioned a great book will have you thinking and so this one has. One thought is this… Not too long ago we were raving about The Hunger Games movie and the trilogy. We continue to rave about dystopian novels similar to The Hunger Games. What we fail to recognize is that there are people in present day living these dystopian novels only hours away. Although Viola’s story is “fictional” it is very much real and we should make sure our children know this. With that said I’m gifting this book to every member in my family.
ahandfulofconfetti on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Viola is a teenager living in warn-torn South Sudan with her grandmother, mother and younger brother, Francis. When the danger and desperation become too much to bear, they leave their small town of Juba and escape to Cairo, where they finally gain refugee status and come to the US, and the town of Portland, Maine. However, once in the US, Viola finds it difficult to keep her identity straight. The Good Braider tells the story of Viola's transition to a new life, and the struggles and sorrows that go hand-in-hand with that change.This book was written in free verse, and I have to say that the short phrases, the emphasis on portions of the sentences, really worked well to convey Viola's voice and feelings. You get to see through her eyes as things become too much for her to bear in Sudan; you get to experience what it's like to be a refugee traveling to a camp, and then on a boat to Egypt, and a bus to Cairo. You get to see her and her mother's struggles to gain refugee status and be permitted to come to the US, and the differences in cultures and the ways they had to adapt and change. Viola was a very well-drawn character with such a unique voice and spirit; even when she's at her lowest, there was just something about her that didn't allow her to give up. She has very real flaws, mostly dealing with the fact that she had to leave her grandmother behind in Sudan, and also something traumatic that happened to her. She and her mother face so many difficulties, but both are wonderfully strong women who never give up.I do want to warn that this book contains a rape scene; it's not graphic so much in terms of the way it's written about, but the words she uses when she's flashing back and thinking about it are quite descriptive and could trigger someone who experienced something similar. While the initial scene isn't long, it's referenced several times throughout the story, so I just want to give a heads-up if that's something that you might struggle with.There were portions of this book that were so moving I was almost in tears; Viola's struggles to adjust to the US, to try to become more American, to try to get out from under the sometimes suffocating presence of the Sudanese community in Maine, were so well written that I was just completely empathetic to Viola's plight. Like most children of immigrants, she has an easier time of it than her mother, who wants to continue to raise Viola the Sudanese way, not realizing that what she could do in Sudan is not tolerated in the US in terms of punishment or even lifestyle. There was one particular section that was quite painful to read, but I don't want to expand on my thoughts in order to avoid spoilers. You'll know what I'm talking about if you read the book.Throughout it all, you get to see pieces of the Sudanese culture, particularly when it comes to the way the women braid each other's hair. Viola learned from her mother to braid, but the journey from Juba to the US leaves her with a bit of a bitterness toward it, and she refuses to braid anyone's hair, least of all her own. As the book progresses you see her continued struggle with the idea of braiding, and you see her work out where she stands and how she feels, until it comes to its natural progression. The mentions of the braiding were particularly strong; it's such a part of her, but she's so traumatized - even if she doesn't know it - that she refuses to let her gift live inside her.The Good Braider is an extremely powerful look at what it's like to journey from one life to another, and the challenges and hardships that leaving your life behind entails. There are some very disturbing parts to this book - I would rate it as upper YA - but the strength of Viola's character is so wonderful that I can't help but recommend it.The Good Braider will be released in North America on May 1st, 2012. Definitely check it out.An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
mirelyr on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The best books are not only those that transport you to a far, far away alternate universe. Although I love those books very much, every now and then I have to be reminded of the ones that keep you grounded enough to thank whatever entity you believe in that you haven¿t had to go through what others go through in this world. The best books will always remain, at least for me, those that make you FEEL, THINK and WONDER. Not only while you are reading but hours, days, months later. Great books embed themselves into your DNA.This is that kind of book. I signed up for Netgalley and this was the first book I requested and received. I saw the cover and title and had to read the description. I read the description and knew I would like this story. I read the story and walked away in love. I cannot begin to describe how much I felt this book mine, knowing fully well that it couldn¿t be because I¿m 34 and no I haven¿t had to live with a war right outside my front door. Yet I could still relate and many parts of this book could be my story. Perhaps it¿s because some of my ancestors are from Africa. ¿For this moment, let¿s be free, I say to them. They could not know the dance of the journey I am just beginning, but they dance with me always.¿Perhaps it¿s because when my mind wanders it too sways to the beat of drums and they too beat ¿Be Free¿. Perhaps it¿s because I know what it¿s like to live in the United States and your elders desperately want to hold on to their history, culture and traditions while raising you in a very different world because ¿no one in America is from America¿ yet are. This entire book is written in free verse, a poem if you will. It flows and you are instantly transported to Sudan where you meet Viola, her mother, brother and grandmother. You walk the streets as she does in constant fear until she escapes her town and then follow her to the United States as a refugee. This book was written by a WHITE woman, Terry Farish, who became a part of the Sudanese community in Maine in order to give Viola the most accurate/beautiful voice I have read to date. She did her research and did it incredibly well. As I mentioned before a great book is one that will stay with you and it has been a month since I¿ve read this book and stuck with me it has. As I also mentioned a great book will have you thinking and so this one has. One thought is this¿Not too long ago we were raving about The Hunger Games movie and the trilogy. We continue to rave about dystopian novels similar to The Hunger Games. What we fail to recognize is that there are people in present day living these dystopian novels only hours away. Although Viola¿s story is ¿fictional¿ it is very much real and we should make sure our children know this. With that said I¿m gifting this book to every member in my family.
LiederMadchen More than 1 year ago
I don't usually read books written in free verse, but in this case it suits. The stark writing style only accentuated the emotions and brutality of the story. This is one of those books that leaves you kind of breathless at the end, as if you have witnessed something terrible and something beautiful. There are so many awful things that happen in this book, but there is also so much hope. I loved Viola, who is so strong despite the horrors she has lived through. Her courage was my favorite part of the book. America is so alien to her and her family, but she is determined to learn the new rules and excel in her new life. She manages it much better than her mother does, which leads to possible the most painful part of the novel. This book is beautifully written and utterly engrossing. Bittersweet and sad, it is sometimes difficult to read, but I couldn't stop.