14 Cows for America

14 Cows for America


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In June of 2002, a very unusual ceremony begins in a far-flung village in western Kenya. An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed upon the American men, women, and children, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unexpected as it is extraordinary.
A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and hearts are raw as these legendary Maasai warriors offer their gift to a grieving people half a world away. Word of the gift will travel newswires around the globe, and for the heartsick American nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the choking dust and darkness as a soft light of hope—and friendship.
This New York Times best seller recounts the true story from Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah of a touching gift bestowed on the United States by a tribe of Maasai Warriors in the wake of the September 11th attacks. With the stunning paintings of Thomas Gonzalez, master storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy hits all the right notes in this elegant story of generosity that crosses boundaries, nations, and cultures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781561454907
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date: 08/28/2009
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 238,464
Product dimensions: 11.90(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: AD540L (what's this?)
Age Range: 7 - 10 Years

About the Author

Carmen Agra Deedy is a New York Times bestselling author and has been writing and traveling around the world telling stories for more than twenty years. Her books have received numerous awards and honors. Carmen has performed in many prestigious venues, but children are her favorite audience. Born in Havana, Cuba, she came to the United States as a refugee and like most immigrants sees the world from multiple perspectives. She lives in Georgia.

Thomas Gonzalez was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved to the United States as a child. An artist and painter, he directed campaigns for clients such as Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, NASCAR, the NFL, and McDonald’s, in addition to illustrating children’s books. He lives in Georgia.

Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah received his master of science degree in molecular biology from Stanford University in 2008. He was awarded a Rotary International World Peace Fellowship and completed studies in international development policy at Duke University.

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14 Cows for America 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
rsrey More than 1 year ago
Nicholas Kristoff reviewed this in the New York Times and I ordered the book sight unseen. It more than lived up to my expectations. All ages will enjoy it. Beautifully illustrated. Simply and eloquently told.
cgibbs More than 1 year ago
In this nonfiction story, Kimeli journeys back to his childhood Maasai village in Kenya to visit family and friends. Kimeli begins by describing his people and their history of being fierce warriors. He also describes cows as being vital to the Maasai tribe because they feed them and eventually sell them. They care for their cows as they do their children because without the cows the tribe would starve. The villagers welcome Kimeli back to the village with open arms after he has been away at school in New York. Kimeli becomes saddened, however, because he realizes that he cannot stay with his tribe, but has to return to America for school. This leads him to remember New York and a particular September. Kimeli goes to speak with the elders then tells the story of what happened on September 11, 2001 in New York City. His people immediately want to know what they can do to help the people in America, and because the cow is life for the Maasai, Kimeli offers to give his only cow to America. A diplomat from the embassy is contacted and asked to come meet with the tribe do receive Kimeli's cow. After the tribe meets with the diplomat from the U.S. Embassy, the villagers all want to contribute to the gift of 14 cows will be given to America. The story ends by stating that no nation is so powerful that it cannot be wounded, and no group of people is too small to offer comfort. This message is something that children can relate to easily because they can feel quite small at times, but this story shows that even a small group of people can make a difference. The illustrations throughout the text are rich with color and emotion that parallel the story. Most American children will not have been to Kenya, and the illustrator makes the scenes of the country realistic to the reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
14 Cows For America is a great picture book (or as I like to call them, everyone book) for perspective taking. It portrays an African tribe's response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks when one of their young tribe members returns from a educational study program in New York. Seeing the passionate response that the tribe has, and their selfless offering of 14 sacred cows hits deep at the emotional core surrounding 9-11. This book provides a unique way for parents and teachers alike to introduce the subject of 9-11 to children, and also talk about looking at the attacks from a different perspective and recognizing the support we received in this terrible time. Beautiful illustrations are powerful- particularly the last one- in which you see a reflection of the twin towers in a tribesman's eye. Simply chilling.
fortheloveofliteracy More than 1 year ago
This book could be used in any classroom at any grade and have an immense impact on the students and teachers alike. The true story of this boy from a village in Africa and the gift that they give to Americans after 9/11 is nothing short of a tear maker. For those who were impacted by 9/11 it would be hard not to shed at tear at the end of this book. And for those who were not here when it happened, this story is a great tool to use in demonstrating the impact that day had on the entire world. The illustrations in and of itself is enough to take your breath away.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah found himself in New York on 9/11. A student in the United States he was far away from his home in Kenya. When he returned home. Moved to do something for the many people who lost loved ones on that terrible day he seeks a blessing from the elders of his tribe. He tells his story to them and asks for him to bless his most prized posession, his cow. The American Ambassador is summoned to their small village and Kimel's gift go America has grown from 1 to 14 as other members of his tribe give from their heart to a people they don't know. This was a very moving story. The Illustrations were outstanding. I can't wait to get back to school and place this on my chalk tray for students to see.
ssajj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a true story of a small village in Kenya and their extreme compassion and generosity towards the people of a much bigger nation of the United States. Kimeli a Kenyan studying in New York visits Kenya after the heartbreaking events of 9-11 in New York. The people of his village ask him if he has brought stories with him to tell them. He has a sad story to tell about the events he experienced in New York City when it was attacked. The villagers are deeply saddened for the U.S and want to do something to help the American people. They offer 14 of their most prized possessions to heal the pain of the American People. This is a wonderfully inspiring book full of rich culture and beautiful illustrations.
alyson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Okay, so I actually started crying in Barnes and Noble while reading this. Not because it tugs on your heartstrings about 9/11 but for the simple messages about caring and support.
megmcg624 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kimeli, a Maasai man studying to be a doctor in New York, returns home to Kenya and tells his community about the events of September. They offer a symbolic healing gift to America of the most important thing they have.This lushly illustrated book never veers into over-sentimentality, and the tale is truly touching. Highly recommended for all early elementary students.
adw1723 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the best book I have read so far. It is very good to show what people can do for one another no matter what they have. Words can not describe how this book made me feel. I absolutely loved it. This is the next book I plan to purchase for my classroom.
JulieMagen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An awesome tell of a tribe in Kenya. The story of a man who travels to America on a scholarship to become a doctor. He is in America when 9/11 happens, and he comes home to tell his people what happened. It is a wonderful true story of a peaceful tribe that gave their most prized possession to the American people after 9/11. At the end of the book, there are two pages filled with the man who is becoming a doctors true story. I LOVED this book, and I would recommend it for a good read aloud. It is just simply a good book for everyone to read, whether in school or at home! :)
anniecase on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stunning book, memorable for the beautiful illustrations especially. Simple story, but one that has a very sophisticated message and a good one for school-aged kids.
Pangle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kimeli travels back to visit his village in Kenya. When asked by a child if he has any stories, he tells them he does. He tells his family about the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. His tribe, the Maasai, is "moved to kindness when they hear of suffering and injustice" and they ask what they can do to help. In a wave of compassion, the Maasai tribe greets a diplomat of the US Embassy with a ceremony, a sacred ritual. In honor of the USA, the tribe gives what they value as the most precious gift, 14 cows. At the end of this story, Kimeli telling the detailed story of the day the Maasai gave such a great gift to America.
p_gonzalez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story is very touching. It is the story of the Maasai tribe in Kenya giving the USA 14 cows after the attack on New York City in2001. The illustrations are gorgeous - they appear almost like sepia photosClassrroom Use: Unit study on Kenya or Africa. Use as a read aloud to older students in the library, discuss changes they could make.
ReadAloudDenver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautiful story of hope and human connection based on the true story how the Maasai people gave 14 cows to America to ease the sorrows from 9/11. "To the Maasai, the cow is life." "They sing to them. They give them names. They shelter the young ones in their homes." A wonderful book to share with older children from grades 2 to 5.
jsb021 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great book which encourages good morals, and human compassion. It tells the story of a Kenyan man who returns home from the United States to tell his people of the attacks on 9/11 and ask a blessing of the elders of his village. Little does he know that an even bigger blessing for the United States of America is in store due to his act of kindness. This is a book to be shared with children to tell the importance of a single act of kindness.
tiffanylewis0519 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to this book in clas, and the timing was perfect. This true story is about the first counry to make a gesture to America after 9/11. I wanted to present a lesson to my 8th graders on the 10th anniversary of September 11, and this book was perfect. it conveyed the seriousness of the day but it was a way that was sensitive to where my adoescent students are emotionally. This is a very moving story of a young African man who decides to give a cow symbolically to America, a gesture only done toward fellow tribes people. This book helped me to impress upon my students' the importance of having a sense of being part of a global communit and the resilience that we can possess.
DayehSensei on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The text and illustrations in this book are incredibly eloquent and inspiring. Carmen Agra Deedy's book presents a topic that is difficult for young readers to fully understand (September 11th terrorist attacks) in the purely positve, simple context of sympathy, friendship, and generosity. Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah's story in the back of the book is very humbling and inspiring and gives the book a more detailed background. As a teacher and librarian, I would much prefer to read a book like this on Sept. 11th than pretty much anything else dealing with the topic out there. Simply put, this book gives me hope-- and I would love to share that experience with students.
AllisonHood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This would be a great book to use to convey the story of 9-11. It's a wonderful way to help students look at an event through the eyes of other people.
LiLibrarianCK on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah was in New York City on September 11, 2001, far from his native Kenyan village of Massai. He returns home to tell a story, one that has ¿burned a hole in his heart.¿ The light of his mother¿s smile shines off the page as she welcomes home her son, a son who will tell the story of those who will never again see such a mother¿s smile or welcome home a son. The close-ups of the dark gazes of his people show both the legendary warrior and the wounded as they listen in silence. In the tradition of his tribe, the cow is the symbol of life and Kimeli has returned to ask the elders for their blessing as he prepares to offer it to the broken hearts of America. But can one cow heal the hearts of thousands? Instead, the elders bless 14 cows in all, presenting them to the U.S. Ambassador with a ceremony of scared ritual. Warm Kenyan tones of sunset reds, cobalt blues and fiery oranges in colored pencil and airbrush blow from one end of the pages to the other. Carmen Agra Deedy¿s lyrical prose presents this powerful story of compassion in a way that will reach students both young and older. The only challenge will be holding back the tears as you read it aloud. Great for social and cultural awareness or as an alternative perspective on recognizing September 11. Informative afterword, highly recommended. Grades 2-6.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts:Whew! What a life-affirming story! It gives you hope for the world.The pictures are up close and personal. The text is vivid and rings with compassion for the world.Here¿s the story, if you don¿t know it: A Kenyan wins a scholarship to go to America and become a doctor. While he is there, he experiences 9/11. He returns to his people, a tribe once renowned as warriors but who are now known as master cow herders. The tribe feels great sorrow when the young man tells them of the tragedy in New York City and the members of the tribe want to do something to help America. Thus, fourteen cows for America. The children were very moved by the story. They were happy when the tribe gave the cows to America and danced for America. Some of the story was over their heads, but they got the gist of it.A Sample:¿Because there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort.¿Children¿s Comments:Aryn, 6, said, "I did not like how their heads look red."Stevie, 6, said, "I liked the pictures."Joaquin, 6, said, "I liked the picture of the tribe."Kaylin, 6, said, "I liked the picture of the cows."Children¿s Ratings: 5, 5, 5, 1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing story of empathy from around the globe... a heartfelt, touching gesture and sacrifice offered by the Maasai village to show their solidarity and support of America months after the tragedy of September 11. Beautifully illustrated. The book is a gem for 9/11 discussion in the classroom. Additional resources on website were also very helpful.
Jalfmar3 More than 1 year ago
Every human being on the planet should read this book. As much as Shackelton's Endurance survival story, as much as the effort to return the crew of Apollo 13 to earth successfully, this is the story of humanity at its absolute best. You will weep by the time you have finished reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago