The Good Braider
By Terry Farish
Published by Marshall Cavendish/Skyscape and Recorded Books
An American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
Selected for the American Library Association’s Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learner “The books on this list illuminate and explore the worlds and lives around us and those far away…The committee did not seek to define, or redefine the Canon, but to instead offer new ideas and lenses, to open up new areas to explore and learn.”
This amazing musician of South Sudan and Portland, Maine, OD Bonny, wrote this song for The Good Braider. It’s called “A Girl from Juba.” This is a wonderful, authentic interpretation of the book, shot on the streets of Portland with footage from South Sudan.
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.
“I’m Your Neighbor” Reader’s Guide for THE GOOD BRAIDER Curious City created this guide which includes ideas for engaging in community events and cultural explorations.
Here is a Community Reads and Book Group Discussion Guide: Good Braider Discussion Guide PDF
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.
To read reviews, please click on Reviews of The Good Braider