Kek is a refugee from Sudan. He has managed to escape from the war there but his mother is missing. The book begins with him arriving in the U.S. on a "flying boat" to stay with his aunt and cousin in Minnesota, a land completely different from his home. Besides his amazement at the climate Kek is also a little confused about American culture. When trying to help his aunt clean up the dirty dishes in the apartment he puts them in the washing machine and breaks them all. To make enough money to pay for a new set of dishes Kek gets a job taking care of a cow, eventually convincing his angry cousin to help out. Kek's story is told in a simple but moving way that seems very realistic to what it must be like for children first arriving in our country.