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One of the uprooted youngsters known as the Lost Boys of Sudan, John Bul Dau was 12 years old when civil war ravaged his village and shattered its age-old society, a life of herding and agriculture marked by dignity, respect, and the simple virtues of Dinka tribal tradition. As tracer bullets split the night and mortar shells exploded around him, John fled into the darkness—the first terrified moments of a journey that would lead him thousands of miles into an exile that was to last many years.
John's memoir of his Dinka childhood shows African life and values at their best, while his searing account of hardship, famine, and war also testifies to human resilience and kindness. In an era of cultural clashes, his often humorous stories of adapting to life in the United States offer proof that we can bridge our differences peacefully. John Bul Dau's quiet pride, true humility, deep seriousness, compassionate courage, and remarkable achievements will take every reader’s breath away.
Posted September 27, 2011
John Bul Dau's story of his journey as a Lost Boy and his life in America is a deeply moving, heartwarming and inspirational story. Although he endured many hardships, suffering horrors that I cannot even begin to imagine, he overcame all those obstacles and has done absolutely amazing things with his life. His optimism and outlook on life are so beautiful. His words are very profound. You come away viewing life differently and appreciating the life we have been given that is often taken for granted. Despite the despair, his message is one of hope.
My favorite part of the book:
"I am a Lost Boy of Sudan. I have seen my share of death. When I lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, the hyenas came at night to feed on the bodies of the friends I had buried during the day. I have seen my village burned by armed invaders. I have been so hungry and thirsty in the dusty plains of Africa that I consumed things I would rather forget. I spend many nights wondering whether my family was alive or dead. I have crossed a crocodile-infested river while being shelled and shot at. I have walked until I thought I could walk no more and surely would die. But I am still here. I have a job, an apartment, and a wonderful new country to call home. I am sitting here in a classroom in Syracuse, New York, and life is good. They say I am a Lost Boy, but God has found me. Do not give up hope when times are bad. Hope is never lost."
I can only hope to be half the person he is. I highly recommend this book.
Posted April 8, 2007
Once I began reading this book, I could not put it down. The hardships faced by John Dau are tremendous. This book makes one proud to be an American and extremely appreciative for our lives. The lost boys are truly brave and most certainly fit the definition of a hero. I hope John Dau's dream of building the first clinic in Duk County are fulfilled, but more than anything else I pray for peace in Africa.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.