14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy

“To heal a sorrowing heart, give something that is dear to your own.”   from the Note from Kimeli Naiyomah at the end of the book.

Schema: cows, feeling sorrow for someone’s pain

Text-to-self connection: remembering or hearing about September 11, 2001;  being kind to others; feeling the emotion of something being “sweet and sad” because it can not be lasting for long

Background information: The Maasai people believe that ownership of cattle represents well-being and wealth.  To own a large heard is something to strive towards.

Author’s purpose: to share the Maasai values and compassion toward America and to encourage others to be practice ‘Ubuntu.”

Cause and Effect: Because the U.S. was attacked on 9-11-01, the effect is that Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah wanted to do something to help with the sorrow and ended up making the cow donation as a symbol of  Ubuntu.

POV:  The people of Maasai;  Think of the African people listening to the story of how the city was attacked.  They are trying to make mental images of buildings that touch the sky and fires melting iron.

Voice: We hear the voice of Kimeli in the story.

Symbolism: cows symbolizes life

Synthesis: The Maasai leaders synthesize that to make the U. S. feel better, they must be humane and give something from their hearts to the U. S.  The U. S. diplomat synthesizes the great sacrifice of the Maasai to give this many cows and it moves him to tears.


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