As a young kid barely able to carry a gun, Jal, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, witnessed and perpetrated unspeakable brutality in his country’s civil war, but he has not only found refuge in the U.S. but also become an international rap star for peace. His violent memories are graphically relayed in this powerful autobiography. At age 9, he smashed faces with machetes as his friend plunged a bayonet into an enemy’s stomach. What is amazing in this story is how Jal has been able to let go of his rage. His family gone, he was adopted by a British aid worker, who took him to Kenya, where he struggled in school. But eventually, inspired by Gandhi, King, and Mandela, he turned to music and the idea of rapping for peace (“no tribalism, nepotism, and racism in my motherland”). And his songs climbed the charts. With the intense personal story, Jal also brings in political issues not confronted in other books about the Sudanese War, including the crucial role of oil (“black gold”) in the ethnic conflict. --Hazel Rochman
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Disturbing and visceral...Jal tells his story in spare, direct, and searing prose that leaves nothing to the imagination and offers a close-up view of the damage done to the psyches of children turned into warriors." --Library Journal
"Frank, unsparing...[A] searing portrait of a war-torn youth turned community advocate and role model."--Kirkus Reviews
"Powerful...[an] intense personal story." --Booklist
"There's no glamour here, no pitched battles, only unimaginable misery... Utterly grounded, specific and real... You'll come away from this book loving Emmanuel Jal."--Washington Post
"Fast-paced...stark...a provocative challenge." --The New York Times