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 Eric Walters
Eric Walters’ young adult novels have won numerous awards, including the Silver Birch, Blue Heron, Red Maple, Snow Willow, and Ruth Schwartz Awards, and have received honours from UNESCO’s international award for Literature in the Service of Tolerance. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario.
About Eugenie Fernandes
Eugenie Fernandes has illustrated and/or written more than eighty picture books, including The Tree that Grew on the Moon, Rise and Shine, and Tom and Francine: A Love Story. She lives near Peterborough, 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