Eight-year-old Garang, orphaned by a civil war in Sudan, finds the inner strength to help lead other boys as they trek thousands of miles seeking safety in Ethiopia, then Kenya, and finally in the United States.
cpg1252 Gr. 3-5. Since 2000 the U.S. has taken in about 3,000 "Lost Boys of Sudan," orphaned by the ethnic and religious wars that have left two million dead. Through the fictionalized first-person account of one boy, Garang, this moving picture book tells the big story of children at war. Driven from his village home by the soldiers, Garang treks with other boys nearly 1,000 miles across the border, first to Ethiopia, and later to Kenya. He finds shelter in refugee camps, but many other refugees die along the way. Williams tells the story directly, without sensationalism or cover-up, and Christie's powerful acrylic paintings show the long lines moving across desert, forest, and savannah, as well as the special bond between Garang and a younger boy he adopts and the aid worker who helps him reach America. Williams' notes fill in facts. For teens interested in the subject, suggest the adult book They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky,0 by Alephonsion Deng (2005).