14 Cows For America


In June 2002, Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah returns to his village in Kenya. He has been studying in the United States, but he has made this trip so he can talk to the village elders. He was in New York on 9/11/2001, and he wants to do something to help the American people. He wants to offer his precious cow; and the Maasai, after hearing the story, offer their cows, too.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Beautiful illustrations and a touching story offer kids the opportunity to learn about history, empathy, compassion, and sacrifice for the greater good.

Content Awareness Factors:


Young Reader Reaction

The pictures are beautiful, realistic, and detailed. The story shows how fierce warriors can also be kind and gentle. It also gives hope for the world that one tiny village could be so moved as to perform an act of goodwill to those they'd never met on the other side of the world – just because they empathized with their pain.

This is a lovely book to be read to children in grades 2-5. It encourages compassion and empathy. It would also make a nice gift.

Parent Reaction

This is a beautifully illustrated, well-told story that shows how 9/11 affected people around the world. In the US, we take for granted that everyone watched it on television. This story adds a new perspective to that fact and further emphasizes its theme of compassion.

Type of Book:
This is the story of how a village in Kenya offered its help to the United States after 9/11.
Educational Themes:

There are lots of layers to this story. It is Kimeli's personal story, which introduces young readers to the genres of biography and memoir. There are plenty of social studies themes, from diplomacy; cultural life and traditions; communication, language, and storytelling; and geography, to name a few. Last but not least, there are emotional themes that can be explored, too.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
8 to 12
Recommended Age To Read Together:
5 to 9
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. This is a beautiful, coffee-table book that offers an easy-to-understand story for elementary children.

Title 14 Cows for America
Author Carmen Agra Deedy
Publisher Peachtree Publishers © 2009
Illustrators Thomas Gonzalez
ISBN 9781561454907
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.95
Genres Cultures & Tradition, History
be the star you are Cybils
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Other Reviews:

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