walkingWalking Home
By Eric Walters
Published by Doubleday, Canada

Find a copy at Amazon | B&N

“Set in both the wilds and slums of Kenya, a powerful story about a brother and sister’s brave journey to find a place to call home.” —Penguin Randomhouse

Description 
13-year-old Muchoki and his younger sister, Jata, can barely recognize what’s become of their lives. Only weeks ago they lived in a bustling Kenyan village, going to school, playing soccer with friends, and helping at their parents’ store. But sudden political violence has killed their father and destroyed their home. Now, Muchoki, Jata, and their ailing mother live in a tent in an overcrowded refugee camp. By day, they try to fend off hunger and boredom. By night, their fears about the future are harder to keep at bay. Driven by both hope and desperation, Muchoki and Jata set off on what seems like an impossible journey: to walk hundreds of kilometers to find their last remaining family.

Reviews & Accolades
“Canadian author Walters turns his firsthand knowledge of Kenya into rather standard, message-laden but adventuresome fare. On their journey, the children find individuals willing to help and who act out of kindness both in cities and in the wild….With its dependable truisms—variations on ‘the longest journey starts with a single step’—and its comforting message of the strength of family, this story should resonate with North American middle-grade readers.” —Kirkus Reviews 

“Walters went to great lengths to gain insight and details for Walking Home, which come through in the text. The writing is concise and melodic, capturing the dialogue and attitude of Kenyans. The pacing feels rushed at times, jumping quickly through scenes and lingering in others, but the brevity does keep it ideal for middle grade readers. The book includes real-life issues such as violence, war, illness, and orphans, but also includes themes of hope, family, and generosity. A forthcoming digital companion to the book directs readers to additional material that will enhance the educational experience for young readers —School Library Jounral

Groups Represented
Kenyan

Themes
Family Death
Family Relationships
Orphans
Displacement Camps
War

Setting
Kenya

Engagement Projects
An Educator’s Guide can be found here.

In the summer of 2011, Eric Walters, along with four young Canadians and four orphans from his program in Kenya (www.creationofhope.com) walked in the ‘footsteps’ of Muchoki and Jata to experience the route travelled by the characters in Walking Home. Throughout the novel are symbols that invite the reader to visit www.ericwalterswalkinghome.com to discover photographs, video clips, audio readings of sections of the book, author commentary, bonus chapters, referenced research articles about aspects of the journey and subjects in the novel, information about the four orphans who were part of the walk, and to learn about the writing/editing process of crafting a novel.

For every copy of Walking Home bought at a bookstore in Canada, Penguin Random House Canada will donate $1.30 to The Creation of Hope.

Leave a comment and let us know how you use this title!