The Good Braider
By Terry Farish
Published by Amazon Children’s Publishing
“This is a novel of deep understanding and unforgettable empathy.” – Naomi Shihab Nye
Here for a small booklet on The Good Braider. GoodBraider_Booklet_web
Here is The Good Braider, An Educators’ Guide created by Portland High School English teacher who teaches immigrants and refugees, Thomas Talarico This guide offers extension activities and comprehension questions to guide readers through Viola’s story.
Here is a Book Group Discussion Guide: Discussion Guide for The Good Braider
Viola remembers Juba: The fresh smell of dirt on the banks of the Nile. Her mother’s fingers, twisting her hair into braids. And her grandmother’s stories of elephant songs.
But there are other memories—of war and loss—she would like to forget: The twirl of a tall boy’s body when he is shot. The mind numbing shudder of exploding shells. And the brutal soldier who said, “Now you belong to me.”
In spare free verse laced with unforgettable images, Viola’s strikingly original voice sings out the story of her family’s journey from war-torn Sudan to Portland, Maine. Here, she navigates the strange world of America, a world where a girl can wear a short skirt—or even date a boy; a world that puts her into sharp conflict with her traditional mother, who, like Viola,is struggling to braid together the strands of a displaced life.
This haunting novel is not only a riveting story of escape and survival, but the universal tale of a young immigrant’s struggle to build a life on the cusp of two cultures.
Read Reviews of The Good Braider
“Terry Farish seems to breathe the reader into the emotional spaces of war, exile and refugee life. Teenaged Viola’s flight with her family from Sudan spirals into a search for hope in the face of irredeemable loss. The Good Braider is a delicate, stunning exploration of its young protagonist’s life and heart.” —Uma Krishnaswami
“Terry Farish’s Viola – strong, frank, tenderly wistful and brave – is so expressive and endearing, that you will never again encounter a refugee from anywhere without remembering Viola and her family. This is a novel of deep understanding and unforgettable empathy.” – Naomi Shihab Nye