On this year's list of Illinois Bluestem Award nominated books (a children's choice award for students in grades 3 through 5), we have 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy. I challenge anyone to finish reading this book and remain dry-eyed.
In 2002, a ceremony takes place in an obscure village in Kenya. A Maasai tribe surrounds an American diplomat. He is there to accept a gift for the American people. Just nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and emotions are still raw. Tears flow as these legendary warriors offer their gift to a grieving people in a distant land. Many who hear of this gift are moved by its eloquence, but for Americans, the gesture has even deeper meaning. For a grief-stricken nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the dust and darkness as a beacon of friendship, compassion and hope.
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