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Hope Is an Arrow

The story of Lebanese American Poet Kahlil Gibran



Candlewick Press

(pub. 7.5.2022) 40 pages

Author: Cory McCarthy

Illustrator: Ekua Holmes

Character: Kahlil Gibran


"Before Kahlil Gibran became the world’s third-best-selling poet of all time, he was Gibran Khalil Gibran, an immigrant child from Lebanon with a secret hope to bring people together despite their many differences.

Kahlil’s life highlights the turn of the twentieth century, from the religious conflicts that tore apart his homeland and sent a hundred thousand Arab people to America, to settling in Boston, where the wealthy clashed headlong with the poor. Throughout it all, Kahlil held on to his secret hope, even as his identity grew roots on both sides of the Atlantic. How could he be both Kahlil Gibran, Arab American, and Gibran Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese boy who longed for the mountains of his homeland? Kahlil found the answer in art and poetry.

He wrote The Prophet, an arrow of hope as strong as the great cedars of Lebanon and feathered by the spirit of American independence. More than a hundred years later, his words still fly around the world in many languages, bringing people together."

Tantalizing taste:

" Kahil began to write and draw more than ever.

He moved to the electric shining heart of America, New York City, and there his secret hope began to take a new shape.

A strong, straight arrow - one that would not be turned away by any wind.

He wrote poems to connect the people of Lebanon. And he wrote poems to help Americans come together in celebration of their many differences.

"Work is love made visible."

And something more: The Source Notes at the back of the book explain that the phrase a boy shot from a bow like an arrow "alludes to a line from The Prophet that is perhaps its most quoted line - and the one that sparked this biography: 'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.'"


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