In America, he sees the snow for the first time, and feels its sting. He's never walked on ice, and he falls. He wonders if the people in this new place will be like the winter — cold and unkind.
In Africa, Kek lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived, and now she's missing. Kek is on his own. Slowly, he makes friends: a girl who is in foster care, and old woman who owns a rundown farm, and a cow whose name means "family" in his native language. As Kek awaits word of his mother's fate, he weathers the tough Minnesota winter by finding warmth in his few friendships, strength in his memories, and belief in his new country.
Bestselling author Katherine Applegate presents a beautifully wrought novel about an immigrant's journey from hardship to hope.
"American culture, the Minnesota climate, and personal identity are examined in this moving first-person novel written in free verse . . . Kek is both a representative of all immigrants and a character in his own right . . . Kek will be instantly recognizable to immigrants, but he is also well worth meeting by readers living in homogeneous communities." — School Library Journal, starred review