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God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir
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God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,529 Ratings  ·  239 Reviews
The heartbreaking, inspiring journey of a lost boy of Sudan. John Bul Dau is a hero, though too modest a young man ever to say so himself. When civil war came to his peaceful village, death became his constant companion, but it never destroyed his belief in the simple, strong values of Dinka society.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 16th 2007 by National Geographic
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Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I have some really mixed opinions here. Take a quick look at the general tone of ratings and reviews on this book, and you will arrive at the unmistakable conclusion that this is a profoundly moving book. I agree wholeheartedly. The story of the Lost Boys of Sudan is powerful and tragic, and this first-person retelling of those events carries a moral weight that can't easily be denied. What fuels my mixed response is the close-mindedness that occupies the latter parts of the book.

The first half
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio-auto-bio
This is the amazing journey of John Bul Dau, one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan. He, along with tens of thousands of other children (mostly boys) was dispossessed during the civil war of the mid-1980s and became a "wanderer in the desert" for the better part of 15 years -- hungry, thirsty, often fearing for his life, living each day as if it would be his last. I cannot imagine being able to survive such a life -- let alone survive it with integrity and joy. It's the "joy" of it that truly has me ...more
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Having been friends with a 'Lost Boy' who didn't talk about his past, I enjoyed reading John's memoir because it gave me a feel for the similar events which brought my friend to Utah.

I also liked his perspective on the USA as a whole. So many of us take our freedom for granted and fail to accept responsibility for our success or lack there of. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in what is wrong and forget how many great people live here who freely give of their time, talents, and money to he
Caitlin M
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: form1-shelf
After reading God Grew tired of Us by John Bul Dau, the reader comes to understand that great help can come from the most foreign of places and that a difficult childhood does not mean that a person won't succeed in life. This book was a memoir of John Bul Dau's life as a lost boy. There were not any other major characters, just a few friends he made on his journeys. He was a part of the Dinka tribe in Sudan, and when the Djellabas attacked his village in 1987, he was forced to flee from his hom ...more
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it

In God Grew Tired of us by John Bul Dau John wants to reconnect with his family after leaving Africa because of the wars but, it is too dangerous to turn back so, he waits until he is in the United States and has the resources to connect with his family. One way this book was very different than most was the action or the cause took place at the beginning and the rest of the book was effects. the weakness of this book was it was never interesting enough I didn't want to put it down, or at least
Feb 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Roni by: Maureen Keene (my boss)
This is an amazing story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. It is amazing that things like this are still happening. It was an eye opener for me. There is a large population of Sudanese refugees in the Denver area. A family was recently baptized into my ward that fled the Sudan and Egypt. I was the mother's visiting teacher and the girls I got to know in Young Women's. I never really talked about the pain that they had to go through to get to America, but I was glad that I was aware of what they ...more
Kristine Rier
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
There are so many wonderful stories and lessons to be extracted and appreciated from this memoir. The story of the tribes from the south of Sudan (now Southern Sudan), their customs, people, and political oppression; a beautiful account of the spirit and power of America's immigrants; and, an appraisal of what can be done to improve our world.

I'm very happy this book was chosen as my school's community-read and look forward to infusing the author's messages in my classroom. Especially excited t
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book. I had no idea the recent history of Sudan. So it was enlightening plus I was amazed at the John's attitude and abilities throughout. This is his autobiography of that time of his life. I am glad I bought this one as it is one I will love having on my bookshelf.
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
An amazing story. I had the privilege of meeting him and hearing him speak- what a great spirit. Some books deserve to be read not because the authors are great writers but because the story is worth knowing. This is one of those.
Winter Sophia Rose
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking, Life Changing, Inspiring, Uplifting, Fascinating, Touching Eye Opener! An Outstanding, Powerful Read! I Loved It!
Jun 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
Very interesting and thought provoking.
Its a kind of biography of John.
John is from Sudan.In his childhood at his 11th year or so,his village was bombed by Muslim militants and he ran for his life.Its all about his journey to save his life till he reached America as a refugee and established his living hood.

The story would move our heart..It just shows of the contrast..When he ran for the life,he was around 11yrs..1981..ethnic warfare started spreading Sudan completely.His village was bombed and
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
John Bul Dau, a Lost Boy, has an amazing if traumatic story to tell in God Grew Tired of Us. It is also, sadly, not a unique story. We read of John's war-torn Sudanese history and how he escaped multiple times from extremist militias, found temporary safe-havens, exercised leadership, and finally acquired sanctuary in the USA. Thanks to the help of the brilliant author and journalist Mike Sweeney, I have been reminded once again about how incredibly fortunate I am to have been born into my own s ...more
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This story will break your heart and inspire you. It's unbelievable what these lost boys of Sudan go through....and the capacity for destruction and expression of love and compassion humans are capable of. I walked away from reading John's story with a resolve to think differently about my own strengths and inspired by John's forward way of thinking. His will and strength of family and culture are what I believe pulled him through his unvbelievable trauma. It is a testimony to the human spirit a ...more
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellently written autobiography of John Bul Dau, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. His experiences as a refugee, his struggles in America, and his eventual triumphs make for an riveting story. I have used this book, and the Movie based on this book in my classroom as part of a unit on the Lost Boys. My students are riveted and really develop a desire to take action and to try and help other refugees after learning about John Bul Dau and the other Lost Boys.
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan- heartbreaking and inspirational- John Bul Dau's story has impacted me in many ways. I appreciated the opinion of the US from an outsider, and how different our culture is from how he grew up. I think everyone should read this book.
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read about the lost boys of Sudan. I was skeptical at first, but really enjoyed the story as well as learning about another culture. I learned that hard things are still happening all over the world today, even though most of the time I am oblivious to a lot of it.
Tom Carrico
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir

God Grew Tired of Us
By John Bul Dau with Michael S. Sweeney

(Note: John Bul Dau’s God Grew Tired of Us has been selected by the Lynchburg Public Library for 2010’s “Lynchburg Reads” program. There will be book discussions and other public programs offered this spring and Mr. Dau will speak at Randolph College on April 21 at 8:00 P.M. Mr. Dau’s appearance is being funded by The Friends of the Lynchburg Public Library, The Holocaust Education Foundation of Central Virginia and Randolph College.)

Meghan Watson
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Bingo Category: What is War?

Pages: 304

Summary: The book, God Grew Tired of Us, is focused on the perspective of a young Dinka boy named John Bu Dau living in Sudan. It is a true story that takes place in the 1980s during the Sudan Civil War. John and his Dinka village were forced to leave by the Arabs one night, and his journey continued from there. Leaving all of his belongings and family, he didn't know where to go or what to do. John and some other people from his village make the treach
Ruth Schlenker
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall a very inspiring memoir about a man in South Sudan who made a life for himself in the U.S. and now gives back to his country. It was a bit slow for my taste, but the details were enlightening and it had a deep emotion written into it. If you're interested you can donate to the author's cause to build hospitals in South Sudan: just Google the John Dau Foundation. I think they made a film of the same title but I have not seen it. The story is raw because of the fact that it is a firsthand ...more
Kathi Olsen
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A very good memoir from one of the Lost Boys of southern Sudan. It's amazing to see the survival and progress of someone of 13 who ran naked from his village that was being attacked to becoming a college graduate and doing remarkable things to help people in his new country and developing a medical clinic in his hometown. Amazingly many of his family survived but they didn't know of each other for many years.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had to read this book for a college course I took in high school. I really liked the book it was very moving and descriptive with the events he had to experience throughout life. I would highly recommend reading the memoir, it shows a refugees perspective of life and all the struggles he had to go through.
Julia A
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am a college student who read this book for a reading class, this book was very entertaining and made you as a reader feel very different emotions. This was a very well written book where it shows the real side of the story of the lost boys of Sudan.
Sara Best
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa
I was deeply moved by John Bul Dau's experience as a Lost Boy in his book God Grew Tired of Us. The writing style felt a bit abrupt, but it suited the nature of the experiences he was writing about. I will use many examples from this book the next time I teach Cultural Anthropology.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Hard to say this, but several of the other Lost Boys memoirs were much more enjoyable. All tough to read and they've survived unimaginable horrors so who am I to judge, but this one managed to be overpoweringly righteous and made him unlikable.
Lisette Sherard
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a college student who read this book, it was very interesting to be able to follow along his journey, and when he got to America it was cool to know where he was, and the different places he saw. They are very familiar with me. I enjoyed this book a lot.
Sharon G
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the film, loved the book. John is an inspiration. So glad his story turned out well.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
i would recommend this book to my friends if they love a higher level read and if they love journey books and so see how different cultures react to modern day today.
Sophia Donalds
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I recommend this book because it is actually a good read! This is a great and inspiring story. It's a good book for understanding refugees from a personal view.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
An incredible, inspirational memoir. Dau’s life is incredible—that he survived at all, first of all. That he survived with as much grace, wisdom, and gratitude makes it inspirational.
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read this if you are feeling down. John's outlook on the world and his amazing survival is inspirational!
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topics  posts  views  last activity 1 1 Mar 03, 2017 07:25AM  
A book that opened my eyes 1 3 Apr 09, 2013 09:30AM  
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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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“Times slows when your life is in danger. Every second takes a minute to pass, and even the smallest event gets chiseled into memory. (95)” 5 likes
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