Top positive review
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How children survived an adult mess
on August 12, 2005
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. The book is well written, flows well, and the transitions are so smooth that sometimes I found myself going back to the beginning of the chapter to see which lost boy was telling this particular portion of the story. There were amusing sections such as when the boys were preparing to go the US and they were attempting to learn about flushing toilets. One of them didn't remember what the book instructions said and managed to flood the restroom at the airport terminal. The things we take for granted get a new life when viewed through these boys' eyes. I recommend this book for everyone in America.
Reviewed by alice Holman
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers