Reviews for Brothers In Hope : The Story Of The Lost Boys Of Sudan


Booklist Reviews 2005 May #1
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.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Fall
Among the many victims of the civil war in Sudan are the Lost Boys, remarkable children and teenagers who trekked from Sudan to Ethiopian and then to Kenyan refugee camps. Some are now adjusting to life in the United States. Garang helps his fellow young refugees stay strong in this first-person fictionalized account. Christie's distinctive, powerful acrylic paintings support the long text. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2005 May #1
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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Library Media Connection Reviews 2005 November/December
From the 1950s to the present, civil war in Africa has caused the deaths of millions. Sudan, the largest country in Africa, has been particularly affected. In the mid-1980s, approximately 30,000 Sudanese children, orphaned by war, began the walk of nearly 1,000 miles to Ethiopia seeking refuge. This is the story of eight-year-old Garang, who leaves his war-ravaged village to begin life without his family. He leads 35 boys and "adopts" a five year old to take care of as they travel across the country. On the way, they encounter hunger, thirst, and danger from wild animals and warplanes. In Ethiopia, the boys receive a brief respite from danger and death, and are exposed for the first time to education and faith in God. After a treacherous crossing of the swollen Gilo River, the boys find a stable place in Kenya, a chance at survival, and, eventually, a home in America. American adolescents should experience this eye-opening book. Although this looks like a picture book, the subject matter is not for the very young. The African-style illustrations are primitive, but the heart of the story is the struggle to survive, exemplified by Garang and the other "lost" boys. Recommended. Beverly Combs, Librarian, Webb Middle School, Garland, Texas © 2005 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
Williams, who founded the Lost Boys Foundation, debuts with a picture book that depicts the struggles of thousands of orphaned Sudanese boys, torn from their families in the mid-1980s. Her story centers on narrator Garang, a boy who herds cattle with his parents. One day he returns to find the village had been attacked and was now empty, though he soon encounters other wandering boys. "At first there was just me--one. Soon one became many. Too many to count." The boys nominate him to lead their group of 35. At times, the narrative feels dense and clunkily expository ("I joined the group of leaders, and we decided we would walk to a country called Ethiopia"). But the events will keep readers turning the pages, as the youngsters make their dangerous journey by night, sleeping in the forest by day. Garang paints a bleak portrait of the experience ("Sometimes we had to drink our urine to get moisture in our bodies"), but the group finally reaches an Ethiopian refugee camp--until war again threatens and they must flee to Kenya. Garang never loses faith or hope--something that Williams, in her introduction, says she witnessed firsthand when she met several of the Lost Boys. Christie's (The Palm of My Heart) acrylics, in bold strokes and brilliant colors, with their childlike renderings of figures and scenes, correlate nicely to the young narrator's unflagging determination, and help to balance the darkness of the events. Ages 7-up. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 June
Gr 1-5-During the mid-1980s, Sudan was embroiled in civil war in which over two million lives were lost. Williams bases this fictional picture book on the harrowing, real-life experiences of a band of approximately 30,000 southern Sudanese boys, between the ages of 8 and 15, who walked nearly 1000 miles searching for a safe refuge. Eight-year-old Garang Deng, one of the leaders, tells his story. Traveling by night, foraging for food, plagued by violence, hunger, illness, and death, the journey is a perilous one. They finally make it to a refugee camp in Ethiopia where they meet an American named Tom who helps them. But fighting comes to Ethiopia, and once again the boys must flee, this time to Kenya. Tom is there to help. He takes down Garang's story and tells him he will take the story to the U.S. to try to find some help for them. With Tom's departure, life in the camps is very difficult, yet most boys manage to survive. When the man finally returns, Garang, now 21, asks, "Where have you been, Tom? Did you forget about us?" He explains that he has been spreading the news about the boys' plight, and now the U.S. is offering them a home. Christie's distinctive acrylic illustrations, done in broad strokes of predominantly green, yellow, and burnt orange, are arresting in their combination of realism and the abstract, and reflect the harshness yet hopeful nature of the landscape and the situation. An afterword tells what happened once 3800 of the boys resettled in America. This important profile in courage is one that belongs in most collections.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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