Brothers In Hope : The Story Of The Lost Boys Of Sudan
by Williams, Mary; Christie, R. Gregory (ILT)

Eight-year-old Garang, orphaned by a civil war in Sudan, finds the inner strength to help lead other boys as they trek hundreds of miles seeking safety in Ethiopia, then Kenya, and finally in the United States.

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, by Alephonsion Deng (2005). ((Reviewed May 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

When their village in Sudan is attacked and their families lost, Garang and countless other boys have to embark on a long journey during which they deal with severe hunger, thirst, illness and exhaustion. They finally reach Ethiopia and the refugee camp, but this place of hope proves to be temporary. Now they have to repeat the nightmarish journey in order to get to another camp in Kenya where they are faced with continuous struggles for survival. As Garang grows up, he becomes a leader who seeks ways to improve conditions. At last, he and some of the other boys are offered the opportunity to go to the US. Williams allows Garang to narrate his story of unimaginable suffering and pain and the atrocities of war. Christie's strongly hued acrylic paintings provide graphic accompaniment in his affecting style. Powerful and deeply moving, but definitely not for the youngest readers. (author's note, afterword) (Picture book. 10+) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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