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They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  8,669 ratings  ·  686 reviews
Benjamin, Alepho, and Benson were raised among the Dinka tribe of Sudan. Their world was an insulated, close-knit community of grass-roofed cottages, cattle herders, and tribal councils. The lions and pythons that prowled beyond the village fences were the greatest threat they knew. All that changed the night the government-armed Murahiliin began attacking their villages.

Paperback, 334 pages
Published June 13th 2006 by PublicAffairs (first published June 1st 2005)
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Ty'Ajah Yes. I think it is, my class is reading this book and we are in the 7th grade. It is good so far

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 ·  8,669 ratings  ·  686 reviews

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Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down! I was somewhat familiar with the Lost Boys of Sudan, but nothing could really prepare me for the childlike perspective of this book. I had to do more than one "reality check" while reading - reminding myself that these are just little kids going through these experiences! And that they are safe and many years have passed.

Despite the emotional and physical tragedy that these boys went through, their resilience is inspiring. It adds perspective to my own life.
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I remember about 4 years ago one of my co-workers telling me the incredible story of a boy she had just gone on a date with. He was one of the "lost boys from Sudan." I remember how she told me how he and thousands of little boys crossed the desert of Sudan to arrive in Ethiopia or Kenya for safety. How they fought off crocs and alligators and had little food and water and no parents. These boys were only around the ages of 4 and up. I was really embarrassed to admit to her that I had never hear ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I highly recommend this book. I think everyone should read it even if you are already knowledgeable about the Second Sudanese Civil War and the plight of "The Lost Boys of Sudan". This term continues to be used, now for the children fleeing the ethnic violence following independence of South Sudan in 2011. I believe you get a fuller, more comprehensive view by following the personal accounts presented in this book than through news reportage. Why? Because the numbers, the figures and the events ...more
Sep 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Meghan by: B&N front table
"My favorite song was the one below. To sing it, the teacher stood in front of the children who were organized into groups representing continents or countries. The teacher began the song by asking the question. "Who are you?"

One group of children would answer, "We are the Africans."

"And you?"

"We are the Asians."

"And you?"

"We are the Americans."

"And you?"

"We are the Australians."

"And you?"

"We are the Europeans."

"And you?"

"We are the Arabians."

"Forget those names. We are all the children of God."
Sep 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My awareness of the situation in Sudan was raised when I saw "G-d grew tired of us". Now, I cannot learn enough about the people of Sudan and the heroic efforts of the Lost boys and girls. I think some of the similarities to the Holocaust resonate with me. Like the cruelty, inhumanity, and oppression of innocent people. This book is a first hand account of three Lost boys and their escape from Sudan and immigration to the USA. Their innocence and spirit is inspiring. At times I was so saddened a ...more
Victoria Berardi
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
After reading They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky, I had to give myself a reality check because the book was so powerful and moving. The book fills you with so many emotions while reading: Joy, sorrow, amazement, hope, and compassion for each of the three young authors who wrote this book. It was amazing to see what not just people but young children were capable of during a tragic time. They went years without seeing families, clinging only to the hope of that maybe there parents and brothers w ...more
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly riveting read about the human costs of war and the realities faced by refugees who are violently uprooted from their homes. And for what? Greedy governments and corrupt officials protecting foreign interest in oil fields! The memories of The Lost Boys (and girls) of Sudan will surely haunt me for a while to come. It will at least make me think twice about where the things I purchase are coming from.

"We'd laugh and joke like that. We had to have humor. It is human nature. No matter
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, africa
An incredible powerful book written by three Lost Boys from the Sudan. Benson, Aleppo, & Benjamin fled their homes in a night of terror when they were less than 7yo. They were separated, starved, beaten, and walked and walked and walked. For years. YEARS. But this is about thousands of young boys just like them who grew up amid the Sudanese Civil War.

Want to know what it’s like to be a child refugee? Read this book.
Apr 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Charming, harrowing, innocent and shocking all at the same time. This is the story of three of the thousands of Lost Boys of Sudan, told in their own words. Their stories begin when they are small things, growing up together in Sudan, living a harmonious and traditional life.

" The Dinka lifestyle centres on their cattle: the people's roles within the groups, their belief systems and the rituals they practice, all reflect this. " (Photo and text from the blog: Saharan Vibe)

The three boys take t
Jul 17, 2007 rated it liked it
This book gives a very literal look through children's eyes into the conflict in the Sudan in the 1980s and 90s. If you would like a bit of material to counter radical Islam's claims of "American imperialism," here's the story of the jallabah (N. Sudanese muslims) and their attack on the oil-rich south, including the wholesale rape and extermination of local tribes, and southern rebel groups' efforts to fight back. The subject matter gets a 5, as I admit I knew nothing about this conflict (other ...more
Michael Gerald
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you are in a cozy part of a library or on a warm, soft bed while reading this, you have a lot to thank for.

This is the story of three boys from Sudan who were displaced from their homes and their families by the forces of President Omar al Bashir (wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes).

Forced to flee to Southern Sudan (now the newest state of South Sudan, but also riven by civil war) where they were bombed and pursued by Sudanese government forces and also conscripted by S
Vannessa Anderson
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The author painted a vivid picture of how dangerous the fundamentalist jihad is! The fundamentalist jihad flooded Sudan with troops and told the residents they had the choice of converting to Islam or death. The fundamentalist jihad forced an estimated twenty thousand boys between the ages of five and eleven years to flee from Sudan leaving their families behind. The boys traveled thousands of miles, barefoot, to safety in Kenyan refugee camps via dangerous avenues that many didn’t survive.

In 19
John Manyok
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
when I began to read this book, it vividly brought back those mysterious and memories of the atrocities and disaster that affected million of southern Sudanese including young people so call "lost boys/girls from Sudan" . fortunately, I'm one of those who were lucky to reach to United State but a lot of colleagues didn't make it.I think the book play a huge part of reminiscing the terrible life that a child was exposed to at earlier age not knowing the world around him.and the struggling in refu ...more
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very compelling book. Children who survive against all odds and terrifying conditions. A book everyone should read to create understanding. Hearing the survivors speak in person in Huntington Beach was very exciting for me.
Tea Preradovic
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This true story is told by three boys who've "endured and witnessed as small children things that permanently scar mature soldiers" (309). In their home country of Sudan, a civil war erupts and destroys their home town, inevitably separating families as they scramble for safety and survival. For fourteen years, the three boys seek asylum, evading death every step of the way. This account of their experiences opens readers' eyes to conflicts that are truly happening in other parts of the world. I ...more
Ankit Dua
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky is a truly heart-wrenching novel that depicts the agony and struggle endured by the Lost Boys from Sudan. This novel is told by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak with the help of Judy A. Bernstein. The three men tell their story of how they survived the awful war that took place in Sudan. The book is beautifully written in four different sections: The Village of Juol, Like Ants Spewing from the Nest,  Lost Boys, and Preparing for America. Each p ...more
Grace Heneks
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
If ever you needed proof that America should take in refugees, this book is it. Ignore the introduction by Judy Bernstein because it's racist and really aggravating. The rest of the book is easy to read as far as the prose, but difficult in terms of subject matter.
Nicole Garcia
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think this novel has done an incredible job highlighting the struggles these little lost boys and girls from Sudan have been through, I personally loved this book and I think you will too
Leanne Hoppe
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
An incredible account. Told simply, it's hard to process the pain these lost boys endured.
Charissa Ty
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking. I got quite confused while reading it because the voices of the boys are similar. But a good read.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories of Allepho, Benjamin and Benson really explain and describe of the Lost Boys of Sudan in a way that is unforgettable. I also find myself thinking about the current refugee crisis and how the experiences of the central American children do and do not mirror the crisis of these Sudanese boys. Their strength and decency even in the face of a decade of horrifying conditions amazes me.
Radhiya Bryant
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is about three boys named Alepho, Ajak and Benson also known as the Lost Boys from Sudan. They were very young when Arab horsemen came to their village to destroy and attack it. At one point they were all separated from each other but were later reunited. As much as they tried to escape the war they eventually ended up as child soldiers. This book is about their personal experiences becoming child soldiers and escaping the war.

One lesson that everyone can learn from reading this book i
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A book that horrified and moved me in equal measure, They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is a memoir of the Lost Boys of Sudan that every American needs to read. Aleopho, Benjamin, and Benson tell stories of rural life in their native Dinka village with their mothers and fathers in Sudan until the day civil war broke out and their families were separated. Their lives were forever changed on that day. From that point forward the fight to survive the bombs, shootings, beatings, thefts, wild lions ...more
Isa Torres
Nov 11, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky is an autobiography from the perspectives of three boys, Benjamin Ajak, Benson Deng and Alephonsion Deng. these three boys were raised in in the Dinka tribe in southern Sudan. They lived a simple life of hearding cattle, raising crops, and fetching water from a well. Until their families are separated by government troops invadig their tribes. the story takes place in the late 1900s when Sudan was in a civil war. These three boys were faced with unimaginable h ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My 300th read of the year.

Three Dinka boys from the Sudan write of the years long journey and struggle to survive the wars that tore their region apart. They're known as the Lost Boys as they migrated by the thousands from refugee camp to refugee camp. Their stories are particularly amazing in how they kept being separated yet managed to find each other again, often repeatedly.

I wondered about the "Lost Girls" as the boys hardly mention girls at all during their trials but their American sponso
Caitlin M
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: form1-shelf
They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak had a theme of how, even in the darkest of times, hope always prevails. This book is the story of three Sudanese boys, told by each of them in turn. The Sudanese Civil War displaced thousands of young boys who became known as the Lost Boys. The authors, Benjamin, Benson, and Alephosion, were Lost Boys themselves. Crossing multiple countries with rough landscapes, they experience death, illness, and starvation ...more
Mohamed Hagi
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was especially interesting because it not only captured the political genocide that was happening in Darfur, but also how the southern civilians were being targeted. In the 1980s, when their villages in southern Sudan were attacked by troops from the cruel government in the north, thousands of young boys fled into the wilderness as their parents had told them to do, to avoid capture and death. Five and seven year olds, Benson, Alephonsion, and Benjamin crossed a thousand mile ...more
Thing Two
This story is very similar to Dave Egger's fictionalized biography of Valentino Deng What is the What. Eggers got a lot of flack from the media for the fictionalization part of that book, and yet, these three men tell almost the exact story Deng does.

It's almost overwhelming for me to read this story about a part of East Africa after recently finishing a similarly horrific tale from West Africa, The Devil That Danced on the Water: A Daughter's Quest. Reza Aslan cries foul when the media labels
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is the story of three young boys and their survival amidst the Second Sudanese Civil War written by the boys when they were young men. It is written in a very matter-of-fact manner which makes it seem all the more childlike. This book, while not exceptionally graphic, is not for the faint of heart, but it is an excellent story made all the more engaging by the fact that it's true. My only criticism is that I would have liked the book to continue a little more in depth as they were immigrati ...more
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Book Review: They Poured Fire On Us From The Sky 1 3 Dec 21, 2017 04:41PM  

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Benson Deng is a South Sudanese writer and one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He is best known as the co-author of the book They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky (2005).

The story begins when Benson was seven years old, as part of the Dinka tribe. Sudanese National Islamic militants attacked his village, Juol, Sudan, and he fled with his brother and cousin at the age of five. Wearing only his underwear h

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