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They poured fire on us from the sky : the true story of three lost boys from Sud
Benson Deng and Alephonsion Deng and Benjamin Ajak and Judy A. Bernstein
Adult Nonfiction DT157.63 .D46 2005

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Raised by Sudan's Dinka tribe, the Deng brothers and their cousin Benjamin were all under the age of seven when they left their homes after terrifying attacks on their villages during the Sudanese civil war. In 2001, the three were relocated to the U.S. from Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp as part of an international refugee relief program. Arriving in this country, they immediately began to fill composition books with the memoirs of chaos and culture shock collected here. Well written, often poetic essays by Benson, Alepho and Benjamin, who are now San Diego residents in their mid-20s, are arranged in alternating chapters and recall their childhood experiences, their treacherous trek and their education in the camp ("People were learning under trees"). Other pieces remember the rampant disease and famine among refugees, and the tremendous hardship of day-to-day living ("Refugee life was like being devoured by wild animals"). When the boys arrived in America, Benson, upon seeing a Wal-Mart for the first time, remarked, "This is like a king's palace." Although some readers may wish for more commentary on what life in America is like for these transplants, this collection is moving in its depictions of unbelievable courage. Agent, Joni Evans at William Morris. (June 13) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Sudan has been embroiled in civil war for more than 35 years and has recently been in the news because of the crisis in Darfur. Since 1983, over two million people in Sudan have perished, and more than four million have been displaced. Three of these displaced people came to California in 2001 through the International Rescue Committee, having miraculously survived a journey of thousands of miles. At the encouragement of their mentor, Judy Bernstein, they have written their memories for publication to aid in their education expenses. Bravely and eloquently, they each describe life before their Dinka villages were attacked by government-armed Murahiliin and subsequently surviving starvation, cruelty, and family separation. Despite having disparate cultural and societal norms from the Western world, these men reveal the constancy of human nature: missing a mother, happiness at finding a brother, the thirst for education, and a will to survive. What is most amazing is that these men, now in their twenties, were only five to seven years old when their harrowing experiences began. The arrangement of the chapters helps the reader understand the chronology of events and allows for a compelling narrative reminiscent of Holocaust survivor stories. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Maria C. Bagshaw, Lake Erie Coll., Painesville, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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