I’m trying to collect them. Books on TCKs aren’t easy to find, but then again, they aren’t horribly difficult to find either. You just have to know what you’re looking for. I’m trying to let them all have a place in my library and in my heart. It’s just that some take up more heart space than others. This one takes up a lot of space in my chest.
When Africa Was Home by Karen Lynn Williams is fantastic. It’s words are as beautiful as the pictures Floyd Cooper has drawn. Together they’ve created a book that makes me proud to work with TCKs and homesick all in the same breath.
Peter who grows up in Africa and has no memory of America is the main character. The book is told from his perspective. We learn the carefree rhythm of his days. We hear the echoes of his mother’s words in his nanny’s mouth–and vice versa. We see the joy of a life in an African village. We feel (and some of us relate to) Peter’s reluctance to go to America. We learn of our own country from the perspective of this hidden immigrant. We are reminded of the sheer pleasure wrapped up in returning to our heart’s home.
If you know anyone who grew up in Sub-Saharan Africa–especially if they ever lived in a village, this book would be a meaningful gift for them. Even though the story is set in Malawi (though it never comes right out and says so), there is so much that is relatable to life in other parts of Africa. Africa is a varied continent with many threads connecting cultures across it’s immense space.
If you haven’t read it, go find it. If you have, share what it means to you with someone who didn’t share the experience with you.
What children’s book occupies a great space in your heart?
Image courtesy of Amazon.com (as if you couldn’t tell!)