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Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  364 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
A young boy unites with thousands of other orphaned boys to walk to safety in a refugee camp in another country, after war destroys their villages in southern Sudan. Based on true events.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Lee & Low Books (first published May 30th 2005)
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Feb 15, 2009 Christy rated it really liked it
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book (2006)
American Library Association Notable Book Award (2006)

This story about eight-year-old Garang is based on the real events and stories of The Lost Boys of Sudan. According to the author’s note at the beginning of the book, Sudan suffered from a civil war which raged on and off since the 1950’s. Mary Williams reveals the fact that more than two million people, mostly from southern Sudan, died in this war. Additionally, in the mid-1980s, approximately
Brothers in Hope is the story of a group of Sudanese boys who have lost their homes during the war. Garang is 8 years old who works tending cattle for his father. He returns home one day to find his home destroyed after being attacked during a civil war. As he meets other young boys who have lost their homes, they begin walking to Ethopia and Kenya with hopes of finding a better life. They endure numerous hardships along the way but press onward. In Ethiopia they find shelter at a refugee camp b ...more
Oct 20, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing
The book begins with an author’s note which informs the reader that the Lost Boys of Sudan consist of “approximately thirty thousand southern Sudanese children, many under ten years old, [who] were forced on a trek of nearly one thousand miles in search of refuge” during the mid-1980s in a period of fighting. The author is also the founder of The Lost Boys Foundation.

Garang was a young boy living in Sudan when his village was attacked. Soon after, he joined several other young boys who could no
Jan 29, 2013 Ch13_julie rated it really liked it
"Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan" is a realistic fictional picture book and is based on true events. This story is told through the perspective of a young boy named Garang who is forced to flee his village at a young age after it is attacked. The boys he flees with have lost their family and they are seeking safety in Ethiopia. Garang is forced to grow up fast and the author, Williams, does not sugar coat this experience. The boys struggle to survive, but the story is both ...more
Adriana Villagomez
Jan 19, 2015 Adriana Villagomez rated it really liked it
Feeling at home doesn't necessarily mean to literally be at home but rather to feel comfortable and loved. In this book, a boy named Garang is trying to find his family when a bunch of rebels attack his village, in war-torn Africa, while he is away tending his cattle. He was forced to move beyond his village in hopes of reuniting with his family. He decides to go and look for them when he comes across a bunch of other boys, around his age and younger, who are also searching for their families wh ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Cayla rated it it was amazing
Brothers in Hope follows the story of the Lost Sudan Boys. This inspiring tale shares the story of Garang, a young boy who helps to lead his fellow brothers to find refuge after escaping war that has destroyed their village in Sudan. Throughout the book the boys face a lot of adversity and fear but they continued to cling onto hope that one day they will find a safe haven.

This book can be used in all grades as a read aloud to introduce the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Teachers can use this
Mary Ann
This fictional story about eight-year-old Garang is based on the real events and stories of The Lost Boys of Sudan. One day when Garang is out tending his family's animal herd, his village is attacked. He flees to safety, hiding in the forest; when he returns, his village is demolished and no one is left. Orphaned, Garang wander, soon meeting other boys whose villages have been destroyed in the war. Before long they become a moving band of thousands, walking hundreds of miles seeking safety — fi ...more
Laura Noto
Oct 20, 2009 Laura Noto rated it really liked it
Brothers in Hope is a factual picture book for grades 3-6. It begins with an author’s note that tells about the Lost Boys of Sudan. The author then explains that this book is based on the true story about the Lost Boys as one of them told her. It is about a boy born in southern Sudan named Garang. His village was attacked while he was away tending to animals. He couldn’t find anyone so he walked through the trees. He met up with a few other boys at first, and they kept finding more boys until th ...more
Apr 23, 2008 george rated it really liked it
Powerful picture book about the "Lost Boys" of Sudan. The book, a fictionalized account based on the true stories of many of the boys, tells of a a young boy who is startled by an attack on his village while attending to his family's cows. When he returns to the village, he finds that it is deserted, his family gone. Soon other boys appear, but still no adults. The boys decide to head to Ethiopia, where they have heard that it may be safe. The book details the dangerous journey and the adult rol ...more
While eight-year-old Garang is out tending his cattle, violence comes to his southern Sudanese village. He ends up among the 30,000 children left homeless and often without families by the war erupting in their country. The youngsters cross the countryside in search of refuge. Garang becomes one of the group leaders as they travel on foot to Ethiopia where they are able to have some semblance of a normal life until war forces them to move again. As Garang cares for Chuti, an even younger boy, he ...more
I read this book about the Lost Boys of Sudan to build some background knowledge for A LONG WALK TO WATER by Linda Sue Park. It's an excellent picture book about Garang, a young boy who has to flee his village in Sudan after it is attacked. He befriends a younger boy and takes care of him during their walk to Ethiopia. This picture book parallels A LONG WALK TO WATER closely, so it makes a great introduction.
LaShunda Haymer
This was an inspirational book about little boys from Sudan how has lost their parents in the war. It expressed empathy and determination from protagonist Garang. He was nominated the group leader and lead his group to Ethiopia and Kukuma. Garang went to America at the age of 21.
Veronica Jackson
Tragic story about thousand of boys, specifically two young Sudan boys who walk thousands of miles to seek refuge. The boys were separated from their parents when the civil war broke out forcing them to be split from their loved ones.
Ashleigh Pollard
The story begins with the main character in the story Brothers in Hope, is a boy named Garang who becomes an orphan in Sudan Africa due to the ongoing civil war that had killed his parents. Thousands of other boys who had lost their parents just like Garang, would have to walk about one thousand miles in the hot African desert in order to find a safer place of refuge. These orphaned boys became known as the "lost boys" and would often take care of each other in order to survive. For instance, Ga ...more
Book 56 Bibliographic Citation:
Williams, M. (2005). Brothers in hope: The story of the lost boys of Sudan. New York, NY: Lee & Low Books

Age/Grade Level: (Ages 8–12, Grades 3—6, and Grades 8-12)

When war comes to Sudan, Garang is forced away from his home into a journey of danger. Along with thousands of other boys, and one that becomes his new special brother, Garang cares for a group of 35 other orphans, creating a new community within a community. Finding their way to Ethiopia, then
Patricia (Patricia's Particularity)
Garang Deng is a little boy who grew up in southern Sudan. One day while tending to the animals his village is attacked; Garang manages to escape and hid in the forest. Garang is unable to find his parents but finds thousands of boys also looking for their families, unsuccessfully. Garang, being one of the older boys, is asked to lead a group of boys, as none of them have ever been on their own before. He is at first afraid to be a leader but then remembers his father’s advice as a young boy: to ...more
Aug 20, 2008 jo rated it really liked it
Recommended to jo by: Kyle
Shelves: picture-books
I cannot imagine a more difficult subject for a children's book than the current genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. But in Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, author Mary Williams and illustrator R. Gregory Christie manage to tackle the difficult subject with grace, poignancy, and hope.

In the late 1980's, over 40,000 boys from the ages of 4-15 were orphaned by the civil war that is still going on in Sudan. These boys banded together, organized themselves into groups, and
Gerardo Mendoza-Tovar
This book is about a young boy living in Sudan named Garang Deng. He lives with his family; father, mother, grandparents and two sisters. His family was one of the more wealthy families because they owned cattle. One day while with the cattle, he saw smoke coming from his village. Then there was an airplane shooting down on the land. Once he escaped he came across a group of hundreds of boys of all ages. He became the leader of a group of 35 boys and was supposed to protect them. They would trav ...more
Genre: Picture Book

Award: 2006 Coretta Scott King Award

Grade Levels: 4-6

Recommendation: This picturebook would be a book I would recommend to social studies teachers either introducing or concluding a lesson that mentions the Lost Boys of Sudan. Besides detailing the horrors of war throughout Europe as the boys travel to find refuge, this book allows students to imagine what happens next as America offers the characters a home. Following the route the boys take on foot and across the Atlantic u
Oct 09, 2009 Katy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, is the story of 3,000 boys who lost their families in war. Specifically this is the story of one of the boys named Garang who was out tending cattle when his village was attacked. Garang and the other boys had no choice but to walk across the desert to Ethiopia in order to get away from the violence. Later they had to escape Ethiopia and walk to Kenya. Garang was chosen to lead a group of 35 boys. He also adopted one of the younger boys who ...more
April Storm
Feb 25, 2016 April Storm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Brothers in Hope by Mary Williams is a realistic fiction picture book for students in grades 3-6. It tells the story of Garang, a young boy from Sudan. Garang is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who had to trek across Africa in search of refuge. He meets up with thousands of other boys, and finally found refuge in Kenya after many years. Many of the boys eventually end up moving to America, and the book explains their difficulties with the transition. While sad at times, this book tells the real l ...more
CH13_Caitlin Murphy
Jan 23, 2013 CH13_Caitlin Murphy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc-literature
Brothers in Hope is a moving story told through a picture book by Mary Williams. The story begins when 8 year old Garang is out watching cattle in the fields of Sudan. Suddenly, his village is overtaken by war and he is forced to flee to the woods. There he joins up with hundreds of other young boys and they begin a journey through refugee camps across Ethiopia and Kenya. A theme that reoccurs throughout the book is a quote from Garang's father, " Be brave. Your heart and mind are strong. There ...more
Kaitlyn Steckbeck
Oct 29, 2014 Kaitlyn Steckbeck rated it it was amazing
"Garang, be brave. Your heart and mind are strong. There is nothing you cannot do." This is what Garang, who is the young boy in the story, was told by his father when he was frightened to tend to the the large animals. This story is about Garang's village which was under attack and bombed by airplanes from above. This young boy, who was 8 years old, led a group of thirty-five boys during this war. This group of boys decided that they must leave the dangers of their village in Sudan without thei ...more
Mar 04, 2009 Abigail rated it really liked it
Williams, M. (2005). Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. New York: Lee & Low Books.

Brothers in Hope, based on the true stories of war-torn Sudan refugees, follows the struggles and issues the Lost Boys of Sudan faced and endured because of the ongoing conflict in Darfur. It begins when the boys lose their families after their villages are ransacked and burned down and the story continues until they finally find safe havens
throughout the United States. The art is quite un
Sep 21, 2010 zabarj rated it really liked it
Interest Level 3 - 5
Guided Reading Level: Q

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
May 04, 2009 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Author Mary Williams notes at the beginning of the book that she became aware of the Lost Boys while working for a refugee resettlement program in the United States. Soon after she established The Lost Boys Foundation to support their educational needs. Her fictionalized account of this story emphasizes how the boys’ decision to cooperate and organize to help one another survive was a major reason so many of them stayed alive. Although in picture book format, the longer text and details of survi ...more
David Korsak
The book Brothers in Hope by Mary Williams is a picture and non-fiction book about two brothers who are refugees of Sudan. The book describes the difficulties these boys encounter throughout their journey and what they had to overcome. I selected this book because it lets the children see what life is like in a culture like Sudan's compared to their own culture. Kids get to learn about what these boys had to endure to survive which in turn teaches them about the culture of Sudan. This book also ...more
Mar 04, 2008 sarafem rated it it was amazing
Sudan is a place engaged in longstanding civil war, countrymen fighting one another in the name of religion, money, and politics since the 1950s. More than two million people have been murdered, the majority from the south of the country. In the 1980s, more than 30,000 young boys were forced to leave their homes and trek over one thousand miles to refuge in Ethiopia, and then Kenya. Many of these innocent children were under ten years old, and many more died on the journey. They were called The ...more
Shelli Gheen
Apr 03, 2013 Shelli Gheen rated it really liked it
Brothers in Hope (2005), written by Mary Williams and illustrated by Gregory Christie, tells the true story of the Lost Boys of the Sudan from the perspective of Garang who is 8 years old when his story begins. The story follows Garang from the day he realized he'd lost his village and his family to when he meets more Lost Boys and leads a group of 35 to safety...several times. A touching true story that will break your heart for these boys.

Themes: Perseverance; Hope; Love; Family; Courage; Surv
Oct 08, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their older children
This is a tragic, but important story about the traumatic lives that thousands of young boys experienced during civil war in Sudan. Left as orphans, they banded together to survive. The story is a good length and sensitively explains the horrors and hardships of wartime without being too graphic.

I'm not a big fan of the illustrations, but I can see that they might be easy for a child to relate to. I appreciate the candor with which the author explains that their stories didn't all end 'happily
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