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Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in Sudan
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Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in Sudan

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  341 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
One of thousands of children who fled strife in southern Sudan, John Bul Dau survived hunger, exhaustion, and violence. His wife, Martha, endured similar hardships. In this memorable book, the two convey the best of African values while relating searing accounts of famine and war. There’s warmth as well, in their humorous tales of adapting to American life. For its importa ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by National Geographic Children's Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2016 TheBookAddict rated it really liked it
Short review: was actually pretty good. Which was a surprise for me, since I was struggling so much in the beginning. The writing style wasn't for me at first, and everything was so vague in its storytelling. But I grew used to it. The book wasn't perfect, nor will it be extremely memorable to me. But overall I really enjoyed it.

Plus, this is literally the first book I had to read for a school assignment that I liked.

Jaden Robinsin
May 13, 2016 Jaden Robinsin rated it really liked it
This book was exceptionally good. It told the story of two teens who were separated from their families in the middle of Sudan's civil war. It was a good mix of action and adventure and at times, readers were in suspense. It was put together really well with good transitions between John and Martha. I would recommend this for all readers, especially those interested in history.
May 17, 2016 Austin rated it really liked it
Lost boy lost girl is an inspiring book about none other then a lost boy and a lost girl. A civil war breaks out in Sudan. It shows the rough and tough life of the refugees being pushed out of their homes and young children living alone fighting hunger and the elements. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who likes an adventurous/survival book.
Carter H
May 08, 2016 Carter H rated it really liked it
Lost boy Lost girl is a book that makes you realize there are all kinds of different cultures and traditions. It also makes you realize how hard it was living as a runaway during the Sudan war. The two main characters, John and Martha, take on tough and importaint responsibilities and tasks.
Diamond Henry
Apr 14, 2013 Diamond Henry rated it it was amazing
The book is really intresting so far. I didnt think I would like a book about war, but it is really good. I am on Part 5 and 6. This book gives details and information about Sudan itself. I think everyone can relate this to this book because we have things they dont and we take alot for advantage. As I read the end of this book, I felt a since of accomplishment for Martha and John: the got together and had three children, they moved to America were life was better for them as independent people ...more
Feb 15, 2016 Faithp added it
The book is about a young girl and boy that live in Africa during the second Sudan war. When their villages get attacked, they had to leave everything they knew behind, their family, their house, their personal belongings. They had no idea where they would go, where they would sleep, what they would eat, and if they would survive. There lives consisted of constantly moving. There was no sense of stability. " again we started packing. We had only been in Pochala a few months,but we had to leave,t ...more
Nicolas A
Feb 15, 2016 Nicolas A rated it it was amazing
This was a powerful and moving book about two children's point of view of the Southern Sudan's civil war. These children called the lost boys, were under constant attack while try to flee to refuge in Ethiopia. "War came to my homeland when I was thirteen years old" (25).
John, one of the main character, was part of the Dinka tribe was separated from his family while fleeing from his home. Martha, like John, was also separated from her parents. Martha not only had to care her self at the time, bu
Daniel E
Feb 15, 2016 Daniel E rated it liked it
"I was a little girl,not even six years old, when the happy days with my family in Juba disappeared forever"(9) war broke out in north Sudan and South Sudan, once again. Another fight against religion and resources. South Sudanese soldiers would not stop killing until South Sudan would follow Muslim rules. This story is about two kids Martha and John, two young kids who where involved in the the Sudanese war. They were spilt up from their families, went days without food or water, and scared th ...more
Aidan W
Feb 15, 2016 Aidan W rated it really liked it
This book is about a war that splits a country in half and leaves thousands fleeing the country seeking refuge. In the book, "Lost boys, Lost Girls". It shares two very different stories that are results of the war that left Sudan torn apart. "The new nation brought together two groups of people who had nothing in common"(27), as explained by John means that the two sides that made up the country flared war. The book takes place in Southern Sudan when the two people are just kids and they face w ...more
Will R
Feb 15, 2016 Will R rated it really liked it

"When it came, I was shocked. The soldiers had gone. My village was destroyed. I could see smoking ruins of huts and luaks, dead animals, and bodies of villagers whom the adults were trying to hide from the eyes of the children" (29).
The book "Lost Boy Lost Girl" is about two kids, name John and Martha, aged 13 and 6, making their way out of war-torn Southern Sudan seeking refuge. They walked across the whole country and they get to Ethiopia and eventually get to Kenya, where they finally are
Christian V
Feb 15, 2016 Christian V rated it liked it
Lost Girl, Lost Boy Book Review
by Christian Vallee

In the book Lost Girl, Lost Boy John and Martha traveled thousands upon thousands of miles, through Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, to eventually find what they were looking for: freedom. And where they found that freedom? America.

A country ripped apart by yet another civil war forces its people out of their everyday lives and into a blood splattered country.

“Now in Juba there were no trash collectors, so people threw their trash outside the fences th
Max Curtis
Feb 15, 2016 Max Curtis rated it it was amazing
The book "Lost Boy, Lost Girl" is about two kids, a boy named John from a rural African village and a girl called Martha from a bigger city called Juba. Both of these places are located in Sudan. "At the time I had no idea how much I would have to live by these rules just to survive the ordeals of my life" (12). The second Sudanese civil war started in 1983. John's village got attacked at night and he escaped with a guy he knew named Abraham. They went to many camps throughout their trip to safe ...more
Gerardo Mendoza-Tovar
The book is written from the perspective two people. One of the narrator’s was a young boy from the Dinka village in Southern Sudan. The boy’s Dinka name is Dhieu-Deng Leek and his Christian name was John Bul Dau. The other narrator was a young girl in the city of Juba in the Southern Sudan. Her Abek name is Arual and her Christian name is Martha. A war broke out in Southern Sudan between central Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army. Each of the two narrator’s homes got inv ...more
Nov 14, 2014 AJ at BMS rated it it was amazing
I am recomending this book because it has an easy to follow story line with an exciting plot. The book keeps giving you new information without being overwelming. This book has lots of graphic scenes so if you are sensitive to blood and violence this book may not be for you. If you do enjoy violence and warfare this book may may be more in your comfort zone.The story switches perspectives between two characters which I really enjoyed.

Since this book is a true story based on real events you can
Arielle Banks
Apr 03, 2013 Arielle Banks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review on this book is very positive. I give it a 5 out of 5 in ratings. Even though I have not finished reading it yet, it keeps me entertained and engulfed in the text. This book makes me appreciate what I have here in America because the children in Sudan have to fight for their lives and I could never imagine going through the pain they do. To conclude this review, I would recommend this book to anybody because I love it! Thumbs up !

Emma R
Feb 15, 2016 Emma R rated it it was amazing
"Civil war had still raged in Sudan...And there be no life and no peace in Southern Sudan for anyone with dark skin who opposed the national government,"(75). The Northern part of Sudan wanted everyone to be Muslim. Except the Southern part of the Country wanted to be Christian. In the late 1980's, in Sudan, John Dau's Dinka tribe was attacked and many were forced out of the country. Around the same time, Martha Arual Akech's town was bombarded by the government. Therefore causing the Lost Boys ...more
Interesting enough but very basic look at war in Sudan. My library has it shelved as young adult, and there are (professional) reviews calling it appropriate for grades 7-10, but I'd actually put it lower -- middle school, maybe.

Akech talks some of difference between how Lost Boys and Lost Girls were treated in the refugee camps -- the boys split up into groups to care for themselves, the girls placed with foster families of sorts (other refugees). The girls, she said, were assumed by relief wor
May 10, 2016 Hallie rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting book. This was a book about a boy named John and a Girl named Martha. Martha and John lived in Sudan during the Civil War, they were forced to run from their homes in Sudan in homes and family with strangers to find refuge. John and Martha both were faced with many dangers on the run from war, they were beaten, starved, and tired from walking for hours and hours. At one of the refuge camps John and Martha met and were attacked to each other but never got serious and ...more
Nov 18, 2014 16Sammy rated it really liked it
I think the book Lost Boy, Lost Girl by John Bul Dau is a very powerful, energetic book that lead me to the end. It's about two kid refuges of a Sudan war and their escape to freedom.

The chapters switch off of both of the characters individually so you know each one's story and personality. They showed me the challenge of survival and I was truly inspired. The book is very delicate in how it is written because the grammar is very simple but at the same time the topic is complex. The book made i
Devin Smith
Nov 21, 2014 Devin Smith rated it it was amazing
The book Lost Boy, Lost Girl Escaping Civil War in Sudan is a true story about two children in Sudan that were separated from their family's because of war. John and Martha face many hardships throughout their journey toward peace and refuge. This book is about the same event but it is told from two different perspectives. John and Martha are totally different and they see what is happening totally different mainly because they are a boy and girl. They are always on the move, so they can never ...more
Mar 22, 2013 Bria rated it really liked it
I am currently reading this book and so far this book is very interesting and very descriptive. Eventhough i have not completed the book, I know that the book is about a young boy and girl. The lost boy and lost girl are trying to get away from the civil war in Sudan.
Feb 07, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it
I'm finding myself having to create this new shelf: "skimmed for curriculum." That's for when I find a book that for some reason isn't appropriate for the precise need I have at this particular moment in curriculum writing, but that I want to make note of for later if/when I have need/time to read the whole thing.

This book looks really good -- I love that it's two points of view, that it's very descriptive, that it's making this horrible war real for an English-speaking audience. It would probab
Jul 28, 2011 Ollie rated it it was amazing
This double autobiography tells the story of John and Martha and their experience living through the war in Sudan. It reveals extreme trauma, deprivation, and incrediable determination to survive. It is well worth the read.
Anna Graham
Lost Boy Lost Girl is an highly under-rated autobiography by Martha Arual Akech (who for some reason is not credited as an author here) and John Bul Dau. This story begins with both John and Martha's peaceful childhood as a part of the Dinka people in Southern Sudan. This happiness is abruptly ruined when a civil war breaks out with the Arabic government who enforces their religion on the Southern Sudan by sending in troops to burn down the villages. Both Martha and John are separated from thei ...more
Nov 05, 2015 Esther rated it liked it
Shelves: africa, intermediate
Tight, journalistic narrative. Interesting back-and-forth between Martha and John's stories, who hit some of the same locations as they escape Southern Sudan, but have entirely different experiences.

A brief mention at the very end about why John is interested in having agricultural training in Southern Sudan spoke powerfully to me about what it means to rebuild a society after such loss. John explains that anyone born in the 80s and later (basically everyone who would be of age to farm now) wou
Lindsey Jones
Nov 14, 2014 Lindsey Jones rated it really liked it
Quick, easy read that unfurls the history of the Civil War in Sudan through the eyes of Martha and John. At ages 5 and 13, Martha and John were stripped from the safety of their families and innocence of their childhoods. Their villages were destroyed and families torn apart. Through a series of trials over a period of years, they prevailed until their paths crossed many, many years later.

Informative read about the Sudanese War. Interesting story of two people growing up in a war torn country.
Ms. Yingling
Jan 14, 2013 Ms. Yingling rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Dau, John Bul and Akech, Martha Arual. Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in the Sudan.
John and Martha were young children in Southern Sudan when civil war broke out. Told in alternating chapters, we find that John’s family ran from his village in the opposite way he did when it was attacked, and Martha’s family was at church. Thanks to members of their Dinka tribe, both were marginally cared for and made their way from refugee camp to refugee camp. Living conditions were abysmal, and there
Jan 31, 2011 Meggen rated it really liked it
This book chronicles the separate lives of a young boy (John) and girl (Martha) living during the terrible atrocities of civil war in Sudan. It follows them as they flee their respective homes, travel hundreds of miles on foot from refugee camp to refugee camp, and their eventual migration to the United States. Their lives eventually cross paths bringing added richness and interest to the story.

Since this story was written for a younger audience, I sense there was A LOT of John and Martha's expe
Karen Ball
Feb 13, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it
Imagine losing your entire family, your home, and everything you own, as you are forced to walk for hundreds of miles in search of safe haven. This is the experience of the Lost Boys and Lost Girls of the Sudan told in the voices of John Bul Dau and Martha Arual Akech. In 1983, both of them lived in southern Sudan: 13-year-old John in the country, and 6-year-old Martha in the city. Though they came from different clans, their large families were all part of the Dinka tribe. The nation of Sudan e ...more
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John Dau is a survivor of a 14-year journey from his home village in Duk County, Sudan in 1987 to his arrival in Syracuse, New York in 2001. As a young boy he fled Sudanese government troops and eventually arrived at the Kukuma refugee camp in Kenya in 1992. During this journey of more than 1,000 miles, he led thousands of younger children through violence and starvation. Selected to come to Syrac ...more
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