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War Child: A Child Soldier's Story Hardcover – February 3, 2009
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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
Top customer reviews
Emmanuel did an excellent job of recapturing the horror, fear, and impossibility of his situation. My heart exploded when he watched in horror what was done to his family and knowing that he was not only too young to witness these horrible acts, but also because he was too young to even understand some of the events that were occurring. His descriptions were vivid and life-like...I still remember vividly the horror I felt when he described the events between he and his friend during training.
My intent of this review is not to bash the book as it was very well written and drew you in. However, I do wish there were more reviews avaialable before I purchased the book that let me know how emotionally draining and heart-wrenching it was to read. I have never not finished a book that I thought was well-written with a great story line...However, the horrors of this situation truly made reading anymore unbearable.
Most recent customer reviews
The writing is functional and coherent, and doesn't get in the way of the author's story.Read more