They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan

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Overview


Benjamin, Alepho, and Benson were raised among the Dinka tribe of Sudan. Their world was an insulated, close-knit community of grass-roofed cottages, cattle herders, and tribal councils. The lions and pythons that prowled beyond the village fences were the greatest threat they knew.

All that changed the night the government-armed Murahiliin began attacking their villages. Amid the chaos, screams, conflagration, and gunfire, five-year-old Benson and seven-year-old Benjamin fled into the dark night. Two years later, Alepho, age seven, was forced to do the same. Across the Southern Sudan, over the next five years, thousands of other boys did likewise, joining this stream of child refugees that became known as the Lost Boys. Their journey would take them over one thousand miles across a war-ravaged country, through landmine-sown paths, crocodile-infested waters, and grotesque extremes of hunger, thirst, and disease. The refugee camps they eventually filtered through offered little respite from the brutality they were fleeing.

In They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, Alepho, Benson, and Benjamin, by turn, recount their experiences along this unthinkable journey. They vividly recall the family, friends, and tribal world they left far behind them and their desperate efforts to keep track of one another. This is a captivating memoir of Sudan and a powerful portrait of war as seen through the eyes of children. And it is, in the end, an inspiring and unforgettable tribute to the tenacity of even the youngest human spirits.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586483883
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 06/28/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,243,327
Product dimensions: 8.12(w) x 5.42(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author


Alephonsion and Benson Deng, and their cousin Benjamin Ajak were relocated from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to the United States as part of an international refugee relief program. They arrived in 2001. Now all in their mid-twenties, Benjamin, Benson, and Alephonsion live in San Diego, California.

Table of Contents

An Introduction to the Lost Boys xiii

Part 1 The Village of Juol 1

Part 2 Like Ants Spewing from the Nest 55

Part 3 Lost Boys 225

Part 4 Preparing for America 287

Epilogue 309

Afterword to the 10th Anniversary Edition, Alephonsian Deng 313

Reading Guide 319

Customer Reviews

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They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book over a year ago and I still can't stop thinking about it from time to time - especially in today's times when Africa's troubles continue to go on. It shows how this world needs to focus on humanitarian issues and quit sticking our heads in the sand. I recommend this book to anyone who asks me what they should read.
dance0218 More than 1 year ago
After reading this book for my AP English class, I was amazed by the means and lengths these boys were forced to go to for any hope of survival. Throughout the book , I found that I had to constantly remind myself just how young these boys were as the challenges and situations they faced would be difficult for a grown adult. I highly recommend this story for all, and while it is not an emotionally easy read, it is very eye opening what some people are forced to live through. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I remember in 10th grade we were told to do u book report from a selected amount of books. I was the last one to choose nd this book was the only one left. Best book i have ever read. I recommend this book to everyone. Incredible book. Extremely moving.
ItsmeTy More than 1 year ago
Before reading this book, I didn't know very much about the conflict in Sudan. The three personal accounts are very emotional. I think that people everywhere should read it, especially teenagers.
leahmartin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Heartbreaking memoir of two young brothers and their cousin who walk for 5 years to escape civil war in their homeland of Sudan. They land first in Ethiopia and later in a Kenyan refugee camp. Eventually they find their way to San Diego to begin a new, and very different, life. A great read. Compelling.Ages: high school & up; some sections could easily be used in upper middle school.Curriculum connections: Alephonsian Deng's essay in Newsweek; Home of the Brave; 14 Cows for America;
mjspear on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
True stories of 3 Sudanese youths (two brothers and a cousin) who traveled hundreds of miles after guerrilla forces destroyed their native village. They tell in numbing detail of starvation, thirst, torture, and persecution. The first-person, non-native English voices bring a freshness and honesty, especially Benson's narratives.
bookseller525 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of three young men who were caught up in the nightmare of Sudan's civil war and who survived. This moving story is told, by turns, in their own words. Although this book is devastating, there is hope in their stories as well. These young men survived to settle in the San Diego area. I highly recommend this book.
Richie1 More than 1 year ago
When the war began in Sudan between government troops and the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, people ran for their lives. Among them, the three boys contributing their stories in this book. They witnessed family and friends murdered, they suffered starvation, illness, and abuse. They walked, seemingly forever through the bush harboring wild animals, desert areas, and disease infested waterways to find some refuge. They spent years in refugee camps with no promise for a future, then finally a place in America opened up for them. The intensity of the pain they suffered can not be measured by the words in this book, and it's a miracle they survived, many didn't. The story is a tribute to the strength of their spirits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
¿They Poured Fire on us From the Sky¿ is a book about three of the Lost Boys from the Sudan War. The story goes with three young boys (Alephonsion Deng, Benson Deng, and Benjamin Ajak) on their journeys through the Sudan wars. The boys go through many hardships; thirst, hunger, and even death of ones close to them. This book really illustrates the pain these boys had to go through traveling from town to town, to escape the cruelty that was the Sudan War. Major themes of this book were loss and loneliness. Loss is really an obvious theme for a book about war, but this book puts it in the perspective of three young boys, which makes the pain of their loss much more real. These boys mention many times how they feel lonely, and how they miss their families. Throughout the book they lose the each other, which inflicts a lot of worry and loneliness on the boys. What I really liked about this book was the realness of the issues the boys were going through. The fact that it¿s told through three young boy¿s perspective, it makes the story more relatable, and really tugs on your heartstrings. The boys get under your skin and really make you feel the pain they went through. If I had to pick one thing I didn¿t like about this book, it would be how they skip around with who is telling the story, one chapter it¿s Alephosion, then Benson, then Benjamin. It makes it hard to keep track of what is going on in each boy¿s life. If you are looking for a powerful true story of perseverance and fighting for your life, this is the book for you. This book really makes you thankful for everything you have. These boys have lost everything they had; they had to flee in an effort to save their lives resulting in nothing. Out of a 10 I would rate this book a 9.5. This is one of my favorite books I have ever read, and I highly recommend it to anyone!
christina delfs More than 1 year ago
Changed me forever
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EllenBrownBird More than 1 year ago
A MIND-NUMBING BUT NECESSARY READ, February 17, 2010 By Ellen Brown (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews As one who is seldom at a loss for words, I am finding it very difficult to absorb the contents of this book and write about the effect it has had on me. This cruel, naked, poignant, impossible story of the Lost Boys journey through hell sounds more like a Hollywood screenplay than the recollections of real little boys. Were it a Hollywood script, no studio would buy it because the story is too horrific and grotesque to be believable. Unfortunately for the book's subjects it was all too true. Fortunately for us, they have chosen to share their memories with us so that we may begin to grasp the severity and horror of their journey. They've done the world a great service in doing so. I can only hope that the sharing in some ways helps their healing. This book is all at once gripping, repulsive and mesmerizing. I often found the content beyond my comprehension. For little boys to be ripped from their families to wander aimlessly, ill and starving, dodging bullets, encountering wild beasts who would have gladly eaten them for dinner, and to be at the mercy of the desert sun--often without water-- is a fate one would not wish on an animal. I imagine few of us have spent even mere moments of our lives knowing the terror that was these boys reality for years. I must admit I was unaware of the extent of the Sudanese holocaust, and for that I am ashamed. I know this book has raised awareness and for that I thank the author, Judy Bernstein, for recognizing the need to tell this story and for the hard work of getting it done. To Benson, Alephonsion and Benjamin, I hope you are still able to love and trust in a world where it would be completely understandable if you were not. There are good people among us and I'm thankful your journey brought you to Judy and to San Diego. I hope you are finding some measure of happiness here. I wish you long life and peace.
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JR3085 More than 1 year ago
It was astonishing, the idea of my walking across the city let alone the country of Sudan like these young men have is inconceivable. Not to mention the odds of survival that they faced, whether it be with the city dwellers trying to take advantage of them, or wild animals of the jungle trying to have them for lunch. Hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this for a book club. I probably would have never chosen this book on my own, but I'm glad I read it. We were all amazed at the tenacity and fortitude of these young boys. As a mother, I can't imagine what it must have been like to need to send your children away, hopefully to safety, knowing that you would most likely never see them again. It was hard to keep the names straight, but it didn't take long to figure out that it just wasn't necessary - it was just one long story of misery, a bit of hope, and then dashed hopes, over and over again. I think it's important to know that there are innocent young people in our world who are victims of political tumult.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago