They poured fire on us from the sky

by Benson deng, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak

Rating: 5 (1 vote)

Tags: Male author

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky

A stunning literary survival story of three young Sudanese boys, two brothers and a cousin—hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “moving, beautifully written account, by turns warm and tender.” Between 1987 and 1989, Alepho, Benjamin, and Benson, like tens of thousands of young boys, took flight from the massacres of Sudan's civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live. They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is the three boys' account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child's-eye-vision, Alephonsian, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns: how they endured the hunger and strength-sapping illnesses—dysentery, malaria, and yellow fever; how they dodged the life-threatening predators—lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers alike—that dogged their footsteps; and how they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating, timeless portrait of a childhood hurled into wartime and how they had the good fortune and belief in themselves to survive.


Read Around The World Challenge user profile avatar for Churchill
(6 years ago)
12 Jan, 2018
This is a sad story about young boys who had to run away from their war-torn village and walk hundreds of miles to find safety in a foreign country. I especially enjoyed their stories about life in the village. As someone who group up in an African village, I could relate to most of the stories and typical African superstitions. However, some of the stories sounded far-fetched, especially the ones about lions. Repetitions of some elements of the story, e.g. missing home and family, wanting to go back home, etc. made me lose focus once in a while. There were some interesting parts. My favourite was when one of the boys was describing how the mosquitoes used to feast on them or when they were learning to use a toilet. The book has a lot of characters with strange names that I found hard to keep track of at the beginning. One thing I discovered from the book is that the picture it painted of the war in Sudan was totally different from what I imagined based on what I read or saw in the news.

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