Author: Dave Eggers
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2011-10-27
What is the What is Dave Eggers's astonishing novel about one of the world's most brutal civil wars Valentino Achak Deng is just a boy when conflict separates him from his family and forces him to leave his small Sudanese village, joining thousands of other orphans on their long, long walk to Ethiopia, where they find safety - for a time. Along the way Valentino encounters enemy soldiers, liberation rebels and deadly militias, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation. But there are experiences ahead that will test his spirit in even greater ways than these . . . Truly epic in scope, and told with expansive humanity, deep compassion and unexpected humour, What is the What is an eye-opening account of life amid the madness of war and an unforgettable tale of tragedy and triumph. 'If there was ever any doubt that Dave Eggers is one of our most important storytellers, What Is the What should put it to rest... [A] strange, beautiful and unforgettable work' San Francisco Chronicle 'A remarkable book: harrowing, witty, wretched, delightful; and always compelling, always surprising' London Review of Books All of the author's proceeds from this book will go to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation. Read more at: www.valentinoachakdeng.com.
Author: Benjamin Ajak
Publisher: Hachette UK
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: John Bul Dau
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Release Date: 2017-09-06
Genre: Young Adult Nonfiction
One of thousands of children who fled strife in southern Sudan, John Bul Dau survived hunger, exhaustion, and violence. His wife, Martha, endured similar hardships. In this memorable book, the two convey the best of African values while relating searing accounts of famine and war. There’s warmth as well, in their humorous tales of adapting to American life. For its importance as a primary source, for its inclusion of the rarely told female perspective of Sudan’s lost children, for its celebration of human resilience, this is the perfect story to inform and inspire young readers.
For Poni, life in her small village in southern Sudan is simple and complicated at the same time. Stay in school. Beat up any boy who tries to show attention. Watch out for the dangers in the river. But then the war comes. And when soldiers arrive in her village, and bombs begin to rain from the sky, there is only one thing for Poni to do. Run. Run for her life. Poni does run from the bombs, and though many of the villagers do not escape, she does. An unknown man carries her across the river in the dark, and then she is walking — a long, dusty trek across the east African countryside with thousands of refugees. Along the way, many die from starvation, land mines, wild animals and despair, but Poni does not, driven by the sheer will to survive and the hope that she can somehow make it to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, and one day be reunited with her family. She does make it to Kakuma, where she is almost overwhelmed by misery that surrounds her. Only Lokure, a boy from her village, can give her the emotional and intellectual sustenance that she craves as much as food. But when her foster mother makes plans to exchange her in marriage for a meager dowry, Poni realizes that she must leave the camp at any cost. Her destination is a compound in Nairobi run by the strict Sister Hannah. There, if she is lucky, she will be able to continue her education and even, one day, convince authorities that she is worthy to go to the land of opportunity called America. Even more than the dramatic events of the story, it is Poni’s frank and single-minded personality that carries this novel. She is willing to do whatever it takes to live, but she certainly doesn’t escape survivor’s guilt. In a heartbreaking final twist, she finds her mother just as she is about to leave for the US, and must make the hardest decision of all.
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.
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: 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).
Author: Carlos Eire
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-12-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A childhood in a privileged household in 1950s Havana was joyous and cruel, like any other-but with certain differences. The neighbour's monkey was liable to escape and run across your roof. Surfing was conducted by driving cars across the breakwater. Lizards and firecrackers made frequent contact. Carlos Eire's childhood was a little different from most. His father was convinced he had been Louis XVI in a past life. At school, classmates with fathers in the Batista government were attended by chauffeurs and bodyguards. At a home crammed with artifacts and paintings, portraits of Jesus spoke to him in dreams and nightmares. Then, in January 1959, the world changes: Batista is suddenly gone, a cigar-smoking guerrilla has taken his place, and Christmas is cancelled. The echo of firing squads is everywhere. And, one by one, the author's schoolmates begin to disappear-spirited away to the United States. Carlos will end up there himself, without his parents, never to see his father again. Narrated with the urgency of a confession, WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA is both an ode to a paradise lost and an exorcism. More than that, it captures the terrible beauty of those times in our lives when we are certain we have died-and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.
Author: Michael Williams
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-06-07
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Winner of the 2014 UKLA Award Deo is a great footballer, a fierce protector of his older brother, Innocent. His brother is easily nervous, easily happy but good at keeping score on the dusty fields of Zimbabwe where the boys play. Then Mugabe's soldiers come, destroying the only home the boys have known. Now, Deo has nothing but his brother, and a football stuffed with billions of worthless dollars. And so starts their journey to find their father. But with soldiers everywhere, they have only one chance to cross the border, one chance to escape. In face of such a challenge, it is Deo's brotherly love that endures, his belief that he will lead them both to safety. Micheal Williams's is a masterful storyteller who pulls you along the journey of a lifetime. Deo and Innocent's journey is a universal story of hope in the face of despair, and the search for a better life.
Author: Ben Rawlence
Release Date: 2016-01-05
To the charity workers, Dabaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a 'nursery for terrorists'; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, deep within the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud, sticks or plastic, its entire economy is grey, and its citizens survive on rations and luck. Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land, getting to know many of those who have come there seeking sanctuary. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education. In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Rawlence combines intimate storytelling with broad socio-political investigative journalism, doing for Dadaab what Katherinee Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers did for the Mumbai slums. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.
Author: Brent W. Jeffs
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: 2012-04-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Since 1999, hundreds of boys have been forced out of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the polygamous Mormon sect. Many succumb to drink, drugs and depression. Even as the Prophet's grandson, Brent Jeffs was not exempt. This is his story.In July, 2004, Brent Jeffs filed the first sexual abuse lawsuit against Warren Jeffs, his uncle, the 'President and Prophet, Seer and Revelator' of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. This suit catalyzed a chain of events that eventually led to Warren Jeff's appearance on the FBI's 'Most Wanted' list and to his arrest and conviction on charges of arranging the rape of an under-age girl. Until now, Brent has never told his whole story. Lost Boy shows what the FLDS is like from the inside, from the unique perspective of a man who was raised in the group and witnessed many of the extraordinary events that led to the largest removal of children into foster care in American history. Through his incredible story, Brent explains how cults like FLDS control their members, how their absolute power corrupts their leaders, how hard it is to escape, and how these challenges affect the many 'lost boys' like Brent who are expelled as teenagers.
Author: Mark Bixler
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Social Science
In 2000 the United States began accepting 3,800 refugees from one of Africa's longest civil wars. They were just some of the thousands of young men, known as "Lost Boys," who had been orphaned or otherwise separated from their families in the chaos of a brutal conflict that has ravaged their home country of Sudan since 1983. [This book] focuses on four of these refugees. Theirs, however, is a typical story, one that repeated itself wherever the Lost Boys were found across America. It is a story of the countless challenges of "making it" in a strange new place after years on the run in Sudan or in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.... As we immerse ourselves in the Lost Boys' daily lives, we also get to know the social services professionals and volunteers, celebrities, community leaders, and others who guided them - with occasional detours - toward self-sufficiency. Along the way, [the author] looks closely at the ins and outs of U.S. refugee policy, the politics of international aid, the history of Sudan, and the radical Islamist underpinnings of its government. -Dust jacket.