What Is the What is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee in war-ravaged southern Sudan who flees from his village in the mid-1980s and becomes one of the so-called Lost Boys. Valentino’s travels bring him in contact with enemy soldiers, with liberation rebels, with hyenas and lions, with disease and starvation, and with deadly murahaleen (militias on horseback)–the same sort who currently terrorize Darfur. Eventually Deng is resettled in the United States with almost 4000 other young Sudanese men, and a very different struggle begins. Based closely on true experiences, What Is the What is heartbreaking and arresting, filled with adventure, suspense, tragedy, and, finally, triumph. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Shares the story of a pair of Sudanese youths whose lives were irrevocably shaped by the crisis in Darfur, control of limited oil reserves, and radical Islamic terrorism, in a tale that follows the displacement of thousands of refugee children who face starvation, disease, and violence.
Author: Benjamin Ajak
Release Date: 2015-08-11
A stunning literary survival story of three young Sudanese boys, two brothers and a cousin—hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “moving, beautifully written account, by turns warm and tender.” Between 1987 and 1989, Alepho, Benjamin, and Benson, like tens of thousands of young boys, took flight from the massacres of Sudan's civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live. They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is the three boys' account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child's-eye-vision, Alephonsian, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns: how they endured the hunger and strength-sapping illnesses—dysentery, malaria, and yellow fever; how they dodged the life-threatening predators—lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers alike—that dogged their footsteps; and how they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating, timeless portrait of a childhood hurled into wartime and how they had the good fortune and belief in themselves to survive.
Author: Tim Crothers
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2016-09-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo, directed by Mira Nair. The “astonishing” (The New York Times Book Review) and “inspirational” (Shelf Awareness) true story of Phiona Mutesi—a teenage chess prodigy from the slums of Uganda. One day in 2005 while searching for food, nine-year-old Ugandan Phiona Mutesi followed her brother to a dusty veranda where she met Robert Katende. Katende, a war refugee turned missionary, had an improbable dream: to empower kids in the Katwe slum through chess—a game so foreign there is no word for it in their native language. Laying a chessboard in the dirt, Robert began to teach. At first children came for a free bowl of porridge, but many grew to love the game that—like their daily lives—requires persevering against great obstacles. Of these kids, one girl stood out as an immense talent: Phiona. By the age of eleven Phiona was her country’s junior champion, and at fifteen, the national champion. Now a Woman Candidate Master—the first female titled player in her country’s history—Phiona dreams of becoming a Grandmaster, the most elite level in chess. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with everyday life in one of the world’s most unstable countries. The Queen of Katwe is a “remarkable” (NPR) and “riveting” (New York Post) book that shows how “Phiona’s story transcends the limitations of the chessboard” (Robert Hess, US Grandmaster).
Author: Terry Whitebeach
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: 2017-01-25
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Obulejo dreams he is standing by the stream with his friend Riti, hauling in spangled tilapia fish, one after the other ... Tat-tat-tat-tat! Brrrmm! Rrrrr! Ul-lu-lu-lu-lah! Obulejo slams awake, heart racing, and scrambles up off his mat. Gunshots and screams jab the air. Flashes of light pierce the darkness. The Rebels! Run! Obulejo's name means 'trouble tomorrow' in the Ma'di language, and there is plenty of trouble for sixteen-year-old Obulejo when his town is attacked by Rebel troops. Separated from family and close friends, Obulejo flees into the hills and then makes a terrifying journey, full of danger from wild animals and pursuing soldiers. Once across the border in a refugee camp, he is safer but has no future - until he joins a pioneering peace education program and begins to find ways to create a more hopeful life for himself and others.
The remarkable New York Times bestseller has been updated with a new Afterword by Immaculée, in which she looks back at the 20 years that have passed since the Rwandan holocaust. You won’t want to miss her views on how life has changed for her and her country since this terrible event took place.
Describes the harrowing youth of Emannuel Jal, who was conscripted at the age of seven into the Christian Sudanese Liberation Army and who as a young man rose to become a hip-hop music star in Kenya and a spokesperson for Amnesty International. 100,000 first printing.
Author: Margaret Dilloway
Publisher: Disney Electronic Content
Release Date: 2017-04-18
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Xander Miyamoto should be feeling great. It's the beginning of summer vacation, his mother has returned from a long absence, and he has learned that he is a warrior with special powers. Xander never would have guessed that the old Japanese folktale about Momotaro, the hero who sprang from a peach pit, was real, much less part of his own heritage. But instead of reveling in his recent victory against the oni, monsters bent on creating chaos, Xander is feeling resentful. What took his mother so long to come back? Why does his father insist on ruining the summer with study and training? And why is Xander plagued by nightmares every night? Maybe this whole Momotaro thing is overrated. Xander's grandmother gives him a special baku charm to use to chase his nightmares away. He just has to be careful not to rely on it too much. If he does, the baku will not only take his dreams, but those of everyone in the house, forever. Without dreams, there is no hope, no motivation, no imagination, no Momotaro. And then it would be far too easy for Ozuno, king of the oni, to wreak havoc. . . . On his second quest, Xander explores new surreal landscapes, encounters more strange and dangerous creatures, and faces even higher stakes as he learns whether or not he has what it takes to be Momotaro.
Author: John Bul Dau
Publisher: National Geographic Books
Release Date: 2007-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
GOD GREW TIRED OF US is a book with passion, sadness, fear, perseverance, joy and humor written by John Dau, a member of the Dinka tribe of southern Sudan, who recounts his experiences as a refugee from the civil war that has been fought in his country since 1983 and resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese. Among the millions of refugees who sought refuge in neighboring countries were a group of about 20,000 children-most between the ages of 7 and 16, and many of them orphaned-who became separated from their families, and were forced to make their way, alone, across thousands of miles of treacherous landscape to a U.N. refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. Along the way, more than half would succumb to starvation, disease, and attack. Dau, a 12 year-old when the war broke out, led 1,200 children on the flight from Sudan, 60% of them between 4 and 9 years old. The book begins with John's life in Duk County, Sudan, before the war came in 1987. This early section will include an overview of Dinka culture and values. The Dinka center their lives on respect, consistency, hard work, and a commitment to Christianity. John then provides a very detailed account of how the northern "jellabahs" came to his village in 1987, "The Year of the Famine," and fired into it with automatic rifles, RPG's, and mortar shells. Separated from his family, John fled toward the east, seeking refuge from the fighting in Ethiopia. John stayed at Pinyudu, a camp in Ethiopia, for just over three years, until a coup d'etat brought a new government and forced John and the rest of the Sudanese Lost Boys back into Sudan. In Sudan, they moved from town to town, constantly heading south to avoid the advancing northern troops. The Lost Boys ultimately made it to a new refugee camp, Kakuma, in Kenya, and John ended up staying there for a decade, where he learned about America and studied to get his primary and secondary degrees. John flew to the United States in August 2001, and his impressions of America are stunning. As he walked through the first grocery store he ever saw, which he visited on his first full day in America, he pointed to things that stunned him. There was a whole counter full of beef, but how could that be, as there were no cattle grazing outside? There was a bag of leaves for sale - salad? - and what could that be for, feed for goats? And there was an entire aisle devoted to dog food. How could that be, when people are starving in Africa, Americans have an entire aisle in their food store just to feed their dogs? John talks about finding work, doing two jobs and sometimes three jobs at the same time, in order to send as much as he could back to Africa. His first month's deposit to his bank account totaled $1,010; he sent all but $10 back to Kakuma. He has created foundations to help the Lost Boys get college scholarships and to build a clinic in his homeland. In January 2006, he returned to his homeland to be reunited with his family, whom he found by an amazing coincidence after he came to America. John has devoted his life to hard work, respect, consistency, and the love of God. His story is an inspiration.
Author: Deng Thiak Adut
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2016-10-25
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The true story of Deng Adut - Sudanese child soldier, refugee, man of hope Deng Adut's family were farmers in South Sudan when a brutal civil war altered his life forever. At six years old, his mother was told she had to give him up to fight. At the age most Australian children are starting school , Deng was conscripted into the Sudan People's Liberation Army. He began a harsh, relentless military training that saw this young boy trained to use an AK-47 and sent into battle. He lost the right to be a child. He lost the right to learn. The things Deng saw over those years will stay with him forever. He suffered from cholera, malaria and numerous other debilitating illnesses but still he had to fight. A child soldier is expected to kill or be killed and Deng almost died a number of times. He survived being shot in the back. The desperation and loneliness was overwhelming. He thought he was all alone. But Deng was rescued from war by his brother John. Hidden in the back of a truck, he was smuggled out of Sudan and into Kenya. Here he lived in refugee camps until he was befriended by an Australian couple. With their help and the support of the UN, Deng Adut came to Australia as a refugee. Despite physical injuries and mental trauma he grabbed the chance to make a new life. He worked in a local service station and learnt English watching The Wiggles. He taught himself to read and started studying at TAFE. In 2005 he enrolled in a Bachelor of Law at Western Sydney University. He became the first person in his family to graduate from university. This is an inspiring story of a man who has overcome deadly adversity to become a lawyer and committed worker for the disenfranchised, helping refugees in Western Sydney. It is an important reminder of the power of compassion and the benefit to us all when we open our doors and our hearts to fleeing war, persecution and trauma.
In his highly readable, educational and inspiring memoir, Holocaust Survivor Ben Lesser’s warm, grandfatherly tone invites the reader to do more than just visit a time when the world went mad. He also shows how this madness came to be—and the lessons that the world still needs to learn. In this true story, the reader will see how an ordinary human being—an innocent child—not only survived the Nazi Nightmare, but achieved the American Dream.
Author: Linda Sue Park
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2010-11-15
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.
Author: Amanda Lindhout
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013-09-03
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
BREAKING NEWS: Amanda Lindhout’s lead kidnapper, Ali Omar Ader, has been caught. Amanda Lindhout wrote about her fifteen month abduction in Somalia in A House in the Sky. It is the New York Times bestselling memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most remote places and then into captivity: “Exquisitely told…A young woman’s harrowing coming-of-age story and an extraordinary narrative of forgiveness and spiritual triumph” (The New York Times Book Review). As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself visiting its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each adventure, went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road. Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark. Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is “a searingly unsentimental account. Ultimately it is compassion—for her naïve younger self, for her kidnappers—that becomes the key to Lindhout’s survival” (O, The Oprah Magazine).