Based on the life of a real boy, this warm-hearted, beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Baraka, a young Kenyan boy with a physical disability. Baraka and eight cousins live with their grandmother. She gives them boundless love, but there is never enough money or food, and life is hard --love doesn't feed hungry stomachs or clothe growing bodies, or school keen minds. Baraka is too young, and, with his disability, needs too much, and she is too old. A difficult choice must be made, and grandmother and grandchild set off on a journey to see if there is a place at the orphanage for Baraka. The story begins by looking at Baraka's physical disability as a misfortune, but ends by looking beyond the disability, to his great heart and spirit, and the blessings he brings.
About the Author
ERIC WALTERS' books for children and teens have won numerous prizes, including the Blue Heron Award, the Snow Willow Award, the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award, the Rocky Mountain Book Award, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award. He is the only three-time winner of the Silver Birch Award and the Red Maple Award, and has received honours in the UNESCO Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario. Visit him at www.ericwalters.net or follow him on Twitter @EricRWalters.
Eugenie Fernandes is an award-winning picture book author and illustrator. Her many works include the Little Mouse series, Earth Magic, One Hen and Kitten's Spring. She lives in southern Ontario.
“This expressive picture book, based on a real family, lovingly tells a hard story with a twist. It’s difficult to broach poverty, disability and custody issues in so few pages without sounding maudlin, but Walters manages by speaking simply. . . . With dignity and quiet acceptance, this story illustrates that blessings, like family, can take unexpected forms.”
—Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews