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They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan Paperback – June 12, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A moving, beautifully written account, by turns raw and tender..." Los Angeles Times"

About the Author

Alephonsion and Benson Deng, and their cousin Benjamin Ajak were relocated from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to the United States as part of an international refugee relief program. They arrived in 2001. Now all in their mid-twenties, Benjamin, Benson, and Alephonsion live in San Diego, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 32884th edition (June 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586483889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586483883
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As a volunteer mentor with the International Rescue Committee, I met my co-authors, Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng and Benjamin Ajak, in 2001, their third day in America. Adjusting to life in America was challenging and demanding for them, yet they wrote. Awed and deeply touched by their tragic childhoods, epic journeys, and heroic survival,I turned my attention to helping them develop their poignant stories. Our book, "They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys of Sudan" was published in June 2005.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In a land where family life was everything and the most fearsome thing was a prowling hyena or lion, fire suddenly exploded from the sky. THEY POURED FIRE ON US FROM THE SKY is the vivid description of the war in southern Sudan as seen through the eyes of three little boys, Benson, Benjamin and Alephonsion - who suddenly became homeless orphans and were forced to trek across Sudan to Kenya and Ethiopia without food or water. No longer having a father to frighten away the animals or a mother to prepare food, these five-year-old boys had to figure out how to survive. In addition to the horrors brought on by nature in the form of heat, no water, no food, hunting animals, biting snakes and insects, they soon discovered that people were not very nice to boys traveling alone. Frequently their food, clothing and blankets were taken from them or they were beaten and driven away. Even their own soldiers mistreated them and they found that after surviving so much and traveling so far, they were not exactly welcome in Kenya or Ethiopia. But survive they did to come to the United States to begin life anew.

This gut-wrenching book is a real page-turner and I found myself unable to put it down, even when the stories brought tears and indescribable anger. It was a real eye-opener to read of United Nations aid gone astray as locals took the best for themselves and left the refugees starving. There were, of course, the good people who helped the refugees with food and transportation and even lost their jobs because of it. If you never believed that war could change ordinary people into selfish monsters, then this is the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book that I was afraid would be too painful to read. Most of us will never have the experience that these 3 young men and their "brothers" have had. But it is not about pain and sorrow. It is ultimately about Hope, Family, Education and their faith in God to get them through. This is a book that will surprise you, engage you and enrage you. Thank you , Judy Bernstein and everyone who knew this story needed to be told!
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Format: Hardcover
As a former NFL player, I thought I was tough. But when I read what these young boys overcame, it made me appreciate what life is really about. A friend recommended the book and after I started it, I couldn't put it down until I finished it the next morning. Their triumph over all odds is uplifting. After the tragic events of recent days, this is a must read for all to learn about the strength of the human spirit.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this to be a great read. Thoughtful and poignant, I got a sense of what it is to be a small child caught up in the devestation of a country at war. Several times I paused in my reading to take in parts of their story. I was emotionally touched. I was so taken by the book that I read it in two sittings. This is a great book for adults and teens - a personalization of a war in a faraway place written by three young men who now call America home. You will come to care deeply about these three little boys and understand the saying, "When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled".
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Format: Paperback
I usually read for fun, just to have a few laughs or to enjoy a good story, and then I put the book down. This book is not like that. It will penetrate your soul and stay with you long after you're done with it. It will change your concept of childhood and innocence. These children did not grow up watching Sesame Street.

The richness of the language, and the sensitiivity with which these boys describe how they survived experiences that would break an adult, just blows me away. And having had the privilege to follow their careers since arriving in America, I am astounded by how far they have come and the wonderful things that they are doing with the precious gift of life they have managed to escape with.

I think that any book club interested in a truly powerful novel should pick this book. There's endless room in it for discussion and interpretation, and I promise you, when you are done reading it you will look at the world with different eyes. There's a discussion guide on their website, by the way, and it's really stimulating.
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Format: Hardcover
I can not believe that I knew nothing of the war in Sudan before reading this book. This is something everyone should know. These boys endured so much at such a young age. The book really makes you take a second look at your own perspective on life. It is easy to read; You can put it down and pick it back up again at any time. (Although I doubt you would want to put it down.)
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Format: Hardcover
This book is the compilation of remembrances of three boys' travels as they were pushed from their warm beds, loving parents and the only home they'd ever known. --and all under the age of 7!

It is impossible to put down. I skipped meals, lost sleep and while DRIVING HOME from work today, I realized I could never ever complain about event the worst days of my employment ever again.

You just want to take these boys in your arms and tell them you're so sorry for not knowing this was going on....going on today and ever since 1983! Pick up this book and get educated. Your heart will never be the same.
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