Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudanby Mary Williams, R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator)
Eight-year-old Garang is tending cattle far from his family's home in southern Sudan when war comes to his village. Frightened but unharmed, he returns to find everything has been destroyed.Soon Garang meets other boys whose villages have been attacked. Before long they become a moving band of thousands, walking hundreds of miles seeking safety first in
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Garang Deng is a little boy who grew up in southern Sudan. While tending to the animals, one day his village was attacked; Garang managed to escape and hid in the forest. While searching for his parents he finds thousands of boys looking for their families, instead of his own. The older boys of them decide the create groups, each with a leader, as none of them have ever been on their own before. Garang is asked to lead one group. Garang is at first afraid to be a leader but then remembers his father's advice as a young boy - to not fear. This group of young boy leaders then decide to walk to Ethiopia for help. To hide from the soldiers of war, they decide to travel by night and sleep by day. However, food and water is usually scarce. Garang also adopts a younger boy, named Chuti Bol, so they have someone to look over them. To help them take their minds off of their hunger and pain from being tired, they played games and told stories. They finally arrive at a refuge camp after crossing the Ethiopian border. At the camp they are fed and housed, and receive an education. They also were taught religion and faith at the camp. War then came to Ethiopia and the boys were forced to go back to Sudan; but they had to cross the raging Gilo River. After they crossed the river they arrived at another camp in Kenyon. After the camp's 'leader', Tom, left Garang took charge and tried to the keep the boys fed and educated; Chuti even helped him sometimes. Many years later Tom returned to the Camp to tell the boys that the U.S. offered them a home. Afraid of the future, Garang remembered his father's advice: "Your heart and mind are strong. There is nothing you cannot do." The illustrations look like paintings - you can see many of the brush strokes; with colors of browns and greens. The author has chosen to use very simple words and sentences to get across a very serious point of history - this thus makes it very easy to read. For children, I think this book does a really great job of presenting a very serious issue in other worlds while representing the characteristics that connect humans and children everywhere: help those in need and carry on.