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Walking Home
Cover of Walking Home
Walking Home
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Set in both the wilds and slums of Kenya, a powerful story about a brother and sister's brave journey to find a place to call home.      13-year-old Muchoki and his younger...
Set in both the wilds and slums of Kenya, a powerful story about a brother and sister's brave journey to find a place to call home.      13-year-old Muchoki and his younger...
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Description-

  • Set in both the wilds and slums of Kenya, a powerful story about a brother and sister's brave journey to find a place to call home.
         13-year-old Muchoki and his younger sister, Jata, can barely recognize what's become of their lives. Only weeks ago they lived in a bustling Kenyan village, going to school, playing soccer with friends, and helping at their parents' store. But sudden political violence has killed their father and destroyed their home. Now, Muchoki, Jata, and their ailing mother live in a tent in an overcrowded refugee camp. By day, they try to fend off hunger and boredom. By night, their fears about the future are harder to keep at bay. Driven by both hope and desperation, Muchoki and Jata set off on what seems like an impossible journey: to walk hundreds of kilometers to find their last remaining family.

About the Author-

  • ERIC WALTERS is one of Canada's most popular and prolific authors for young readers. He has published more than 60 books, and has been honoured with near-countless awards. A non-stop promoter and visiting school speaker, Eric lives in Toronto, Canada.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books missmunch - I absolutely love this book! Walking Home by Eric Walters takes place in Kenya, Africa. 13 year old Muchoki and his younger sister Jata, must leave their home town after sudden violence. During the violence their father sadly dies and they move with their mother to a overcrowded refugee camp. There they live in a small tent with limited food, water, and privacy. Within a week there whole life is changed and everything they know is gone, and they must understand that they may never be able to return . Fear rules Muchoki's life. He fears the future. When the unthinkable happens to his mother he and his sister must flee to their only known family hundreds of miles away. The seemingly impossible journey is difficult, but starting with only one step they must walk home. I love the detail and description in this story, it makes it seem as though you were there with the characters. Throughout the book you are able to feel empathy for refugees. I strongly recommend this book to all of my friends. It is a really good book. I want to reread over and over!
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 29, 2014
    A church fire, the result of political violence in Kenya, killed Muchoki and his sister Jata's father, and landed the siblings and their mother in a refugee camp; rampant disease and a dearth of food and water are only a few of the threats they face. After their mother dies from malaria, Muchoki, 13, and Jata, age seven, embark on foot for her hometown of Kikima, in order to avoid being separated and sent to orphanages. Armed only with inspiration gleaned from Muchoki's friend Jomo and a Kamba tale about following a string all the way home, the two trek 100 miles through the wilderness. While readers will feel confident that the siblings will arrive at their destination, numerous menacing challenges, from lions to starvation, create suspense. Walters (The Rule of Three) walked the same route himself, an author's note explains (photos and videos from his journey, as well as context about malaria, Kenya's displacement camps, and more, are available on a companion website), and he captures the hope and need driving Muchoki and Jata through empathic writing and a brisk plot. Ages 10–up.

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2014
    Thirteen-year-old Muchoki, his mother and his little sister live in a refugee camp after fleeing the intertribal bloodshed in their Kenyan hometown of Eldoret that took the life of their Kikuyu father. When their mother succumbs to malaria, Muchoki decides to set out on foot with 7-year-old Jata to reach their mother's relatives in Kambaland, a journey of over 200 kilometers. Canadian author Walters turns his firsthand knowledge of Kenya into rather standard, message-laden but adventuresome fare. On their journey, the children find individuals willing to help and who act out of kindness both in cities and in the wild. There's the requisite encounter with a lion and another with a Maasai warrior who defies the stereotype that Muchoki grew up with. Adults of a variety of tribes reinforce the idea that killing is always wrong, allowing Muchoki to grow beyond his urge to avenge his father's death. Unfortunately, nowhere does the author use a date to tie the story to actual events, a shortcoming for a first-person account based on the very real recent unrest in Kenya. Nonetheless, this is a solid story of hope prevailing over despair.With its dependable truisms-variations on "the longest journey starts with a single step"-and its comforting message of the strength of family, this story should resonate with North American middle-grade readers. (Adventure. 9-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2014

    Gr 4-7-Muchoki is only 13, but already carries a great burden of responsibility. After extreme violence breaks out in his village, those surviving members of his family are relocated to an unfamiliar and unwelcoming refugee camp. His burden, and dire situation, only grow as Muchoki has to assume responsibility for his younger sister Jata and lead them on a long walk to a place they hope to call home. Walters went to great lengths to gain insight and details for Walking Home, which come through in the text. The writing is concise and melodic, capturing the dialogue and attitude of Kenyans. The pacing feels rushed at times, jumping quickly through scenes and lingering in others, but the brevity does keep it ideal for middle grade readers. The book includes real-life issues such as violence, war, illness, and orphans, but also includes themes of hope, family, and generosity. A forthcoming digital companion to the book directs readers to additional material that will enhance the educational experience for young readers.-Megan Egbert, Meridian Library District, ID

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Winnipeg Free Press "An inspiring story, showing how perseverance, common courtesy and bravery can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds."
  • Quill & Quire • "This is classic Walters: a good yarn, plenty of action, lively dialogue, and quirky details drawn from research."
  • Canlitforkids.com • "Vintage Walters . . . the adventure just doesn't stop."

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    Tundra Book Group
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