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

Paperback(10-Year Anniversary REISSUE)

$15.29 $16.99 Save 10% Current price is $15.29, Original price is $16.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, August 28


The inspiring story of three young Sudanese boys who were driven from their homes by civil war and began an epic odyssey of survival, facing life-threatening perils, ultimately finding their way to a new life in America.

Between 1987 and 1989, Alepho, Benjamin, and Benson, like tens of thousands of young boys, took flight from the massacres of Sudan's civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live.

They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is the three boys' account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child's-eye-vision, Alephonsian, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns: how they endured the hunger and strength-sapping illnesses-dysentery, malaria, and yellow fever; how they dodged the life-threatening predators-lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers alike-that dogged their footsteps; and how they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating, timeless portrait of a childhood hurled into wartime and how they had the good fortune and belief in themselves to survive.

Christopher Award Winner
Los Angeles Times Bestseller
Washington Post Top 100 Books of the Year Selection
Includes a Reading Group Guide

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610395984
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 08/11/2015
Edition description: 10-Year Anniversary REISSUE
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 62,429
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alephonsion and Benson Deng and their cousin Benjamin Ajak left the Sudan in 1987, and were relocated in 2001 from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to the United States as part of an international refugee relief program. Today, Alephonsian Deng attends San Diego City College and works in the Medical Records Department at Kaiser Permanente Hospital. He has spoken to many schools, universities, clubs and organizations about his extraordinary story in Africa and adapting to his life here in America. Benson Deng runs the computer and digital photography system at Waste Management in El Cajon, CA. Benjamin Ajak resides in San Diego and speaks full time to organizations and schools, sharing his amazing life and insights into surviving as a child of war and a newcomer to the U.S. Judy Bernstein is a mother, writer, Student Advisor for the Community Economic Development Department at San Diego State University, volunteer mentor and Chair of the Advisory Committee of the San Diego International Rescue Committee and co-founder of the IRC Lost Boys Education Fund. She speaks with her co-authors to community groups, temples, churches, and schools.

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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