Tyler Sullivan's Reviews > 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 by Benjamin Ajak
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Sep 07, 11


Tyler Sullivan
Mr. Rich
English 2
7 September 2011
Book Review B

Deng, Benson; Deng, Alephonsion; Ajak, Benjamin; Bernstein, Judy A. They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky. New York: Public Affairs, 2005

Here in the midst of everyday life in western civilization, we lead what we believe to be pretty standard lives. Daily routines such as showering, meals, and school pass by, almost like second nature. And most important of all, we live without fearing that we may die today, tomorrow, or the next day. We are able to walk down the street without the risk of being bombed or captured. We have a steady supply of food and water, rights of free speech, and innocence until proven guilty. These are all things that we do not fully appreciate; at the same time there are those in the world who have none of them. One such group of people is the Lost Boys of Sudan. Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak are three of these lost Boys, and all were stranded without parents, food, or reliable shelter by Sudan’s ravaging civil war of the 1980’s. Their traumatic stories are told in They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, written by the three boys along with Judy A. Bernstein. When reading the book, I was most impressed by the fortitude of the boys as they pushed through immense obstacles and I think their strength to survive is incredible.
The two brothers, Benson and Alepho, and their cousin, Benjamin, lived quiet lives in small villages of southern Sudan. They were too young to realize the danger posed by the terrible war until their villages were attacked and lives torn apart. Without parents, war shoved the boys out into the unknown, with their lives hanging in the balance. “We were tired of walking. We were tired of being scared every night when we slept and tired of wondering if we would live another day without food and water” (Deng, Bernstein 128). Unless you have experienced it, there is no way of knowing what starvation is truly like. And to fight and overcome it on a daily basis as young children, along with thirst and warfare, shows how strong and resilient the boys were.
The Lost Boys were amazingly brave throughout their trek around northern Africa, and they once again showed bravery by bringing their stories to life in this book. Unfortunately, thousands of young boys did die in Sudan as a result of the civil war, and there are still other conflicts across the globe. These events are very cruel but books like this help bring them to light. “Touched by their accounts and outraged by the situation, I want the world to hear of their tragic and remarkable experiences and to know what is happening in Sudan” (Bernstein xxi). Hopefully this book is an impetus for everyone to do anything they can to help remedy the situation.
The novel leaves a large impact on the reader, and I personally felt the powerful message it sends across. While reading, you can’t help imagining how you are peacefully going about your daily life with situations like the Sudanese conflict happening across the globe. The novel truly raises your sense of awareness for global conflict and strife, all the while telling a compelling story that is hard to forget.
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