The Good Braider by Terry Farish

Genre: YA

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Provided by Netgalley for an honest review.

To date, this has to possibly be the hardest review I’ve had to type. The best books are not only those that transport you to a far, far away alternate universe. Although I love those books very much, every now and then I have to be reminded of the ones that keep you grounded enough to thank whatever entity you believe in that you haven’t had to go through what others go through in this world. The best books will always remain, at least for me, those that make you FEEL, THINK and WONDER. Not only while you are reading but hours, days, months later. Great books embed themselves into your DNA.

This is that kind of book.

I signed up for Netgalley and this was the first book I requested and received. I saw the cover and title and had to read the description. I read the description and knew I would like this story. I read the story and walked away in love.

I cannot begin to describe how much I felt this book mine, knowing fully well that it couldn’t be because I’m 34 and no I haven’t had to live with a war right outside my front door. Yet I could still relate and many parts of this book could be my story.

Perhaps it’s because some of my ancestors are from Africa. “For this moment, let’s be free, I say to them. They could not know the dance of the journey I am just beginning, but they dance with me always.”

Perhaps it’s because when my mind wanders it too sways to the beat of drums and they too beat “Be Free”.

Perhaps it’s because I know what it’s like to live in the United States and your elders desperately want to hold on to their history, culture and traditions while raising you in a very different world because “no one in America is from America” yet are.

This entire book is written in free verse, a poem if you will. It flows and you are instantly transported to Sudan where you meet Viola, her mother, brother and grandmother. You walk the streets as she does in constant fear until she escapes her town and then follow her to the United States as a refugee. This book was written by a WHITE woman, Terry Farish, who became a part of the Sudanese community in Maine in order to give Viola the most accurate/beautiful voice I have read to date. She did her research and did it incredibly well.

As I mentioned before a great book is one that will stay with you and it has been a month since I’ve read this book and stuck with me it has. As I also mentioned a great book will have you thinking and so this one has. One thought is this…

Not too long ago we were raving about The Hunger Games movie and the trilogy. We continue to rave about dystopian novels similar to The Hunger Games. What we fail to recognize is that there are people in present day living these dystopian novels only hours away.
Although Viola’s story is “fictional” it is very much real and we should make sure our children know this.

With that said I’m gifting this book to every member in my family.

I’m also gifting 1 of 3 E-book copies to 3 of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway/gift is open Internationally to anyone that can receive and E-book format. If you're younger than 13 please let your parent know you're entering as this book is recommended for mature readers.  Winner will be announced on May 31. Giveaway/Gift will be emailed within a week of winner's announcement.


  1. Wonderful review! I actually found your blog via your comment on Book Brats post re: race & YA. I recently read my first YA novel written in verse and I find it such an interesting narrative technique. I've added this book on Goodreads - it seems like I'd love everything about it - verse, an interesting topic, diverse characters & what sounds like a beautiful story. I'd love to read this book - I hope I win! Thanks for turning my attention to The Good Braider & hosting a giveaway!

    1. Rachelia! You did my heart a great amount of good. You made my day, honestly! This is such a beautiful story. I hope you love it as much as I do. Thanks for stopping by and for the wonderful comment!