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Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books) [Hardcover]

By Mary Williams & R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator)
Our Price $ 16.11  
Retail Value $ 18.95  
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Item Number 448914  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   40
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 11.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 30, 2005
Publisher   Lee & Low Books
Age  7-9
ISBN  1584302321  
EAN  9781584302322  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Eight-year-old Garang, orphaned by a civil war in Sudan, finds the inner strength to help lead other boys as they trek thousands of miles seeking safety in Ethiopia, then Kenya, and finally in the United States.

Publishers Description
Eight-year-old Garang, orphaned by a civil war in Sudan, finds the inner strength to help lead other boys as they trek hundreds of miles seeking safety in Ethiopia, then Kenya, and finally in the United States. 'Brother in Hope' is aimed at children aged seven and over.

Buy Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books) by Mary Williams & R. Gregory Christie from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781584302322 & 1584302321

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More About Mary Williams & R. Gregory Christie

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Founder of The Lost Boys Foundation

Mary Williams currently resides in Atlanta. Mary Williams has an academic affiliation as follows - Lost Boys Foundation.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
a challenge to us all  Sep 1, 2008
A well illustrated book and it has a message of hope and fear. The boys fleeing from danger is somthing that I see in the news but this put a reallity check on it. Well worth reading it to your children
Inspiring to young Americans  Apr 8, 2008
My middle school readers were amazed by the story of Garang, Chuti and their benefactors. Imagining the plight of the boys showed them another side of poverty and homelessness. As a vocabulary exercise, it was enriching; as a lesson in humanity it was invaluable. We were so impressed with the story, we did additional research online and found that there are many places in the world where simple "rights" are denied countless children. Thank you for helping me open their eyes.
Tough Book For Kids And Their Parents To Read  Mar 10, 2008
My 10 year old son and I read a lot of books together. Usually we read for adventure and for laughs, but we're currently working on the 2008 Children's Sequoyah Masterlist, a group of 12 books thought to be the best of recent books by authors living in the United States. The award is named after Sequoyah, who is remembered as the father of the Cherokee alphabet.

The thing that really grabs my son's attention is a true story about kids, especially if they've had to endure hardships. The hardest part about reading these books with him is explaining that all these horrible things really took place. That idea sometimes overwhelms him. He still lives in the mindset that adults can fix everything. I hate taking that away from him, but he also learns to appreciate the life he has and learns to be giving to others that have less.

BROTHERS IN HOPE: THE STORY OF THE LOST BOYS OF SUDAN is one of those books. It's really short and can be read within minutes, but the impact of the story is still with my child days later. Based on the tragic, real-life incidents in the Sudan where warlords massacred whole villages in the civil war that took place there, the book focuses on an eight year old boy named Garang Deng.

Garang became one of the leaders of the 30,000 Sudanese boys between 8 to 15 that became orphans as a result of that war. They ended up walking over 1000 miles to try to find safety. The fact that boys that age could endure the hardships and know enough to save most of them is astounding.

As I read the book to my son, I knew he was lost in that struggle, trying to imagine what he would do. That's what he's like. It wasn't an adventure like we normally read. This was a real life-or-death situation.

Several of the boys died along the way. That fact is touched upon in the narrative but doesn't weigh too heavily. Mary Williams, the author, has handled truly difficult subject matter here and in a way that leaves young readers shaken but not despondent. Although only 40 pages long, the books is a real eye-opener about what goes on in the rest of the world.

The artist, R. Gregory Christie, does an amazing job with kid-friendly pictures. The acrylic medium really stands out on the page, and the colors are all warm earth tones that reflect the geography of that region. Emotions, despair and joy, are plain for the reader to see in the way the characters stand. The art complement the simple, hard-hitting text wonderfully.

If you're working with your child in the Sequoyah Reading this year, you may find that the subject matter in BROTHERS IN HOPE: THE STORY OF THE LOST BOYS OF SUDAN is hard to deal with. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions from your child. Thankfully, I knew enough about what had happened there to answer most of them. You might want to read up on that civil war and the general outcome. I know my son seemed less pensive when I could answer his questions and let him know that most of those boys were truly safe now, and over 3000 of them came into the United States.
Terrific Book on a Tough Subject  Aug 4, 2006
I was very pleased to find this book. I have been the ESOL teacher of several Sudan refugees and this book clearly explains the trip the people have taken to escape. The kids can't always fully explain to me their experience but I can often see what affect their background has on their current lives in the United States. I liked that there was a picture book with easy to read yet indepth writing. I will definitely have my two girls from Sudan read this book and discuss the book and compare it to their lives. Sudan refugees tend to be better than some other refugee groups at making the effort to live in safe neighborhoods and looking for good schools. Resettlement groups often put refugees from Africa in some bad neighborhoods. Sudan refugees often get themselves out of those situations. Education is also very important to many of them and it is common to find young Sudan men starting Community College and then pursuing Bachelor's Degrees. It is very difficult because they have lack of prior education and many educators believe they can't "do it". ESOL education is often limited to educators who are ESOL or Bilingual teachers, Administrators, Regular Ed and Special Ed teachers have no training so they see only inability and lost time. Adult ESL classes are often poorly funded with no requirement for certification in ESOL. The young adult people who make it, do it against the odds and with many people around them telling them that they can't. I'm glad there is a picture book to share their experiences with others and for the Sudan refugees to see their story in print.
The last thing to fly out of Pandora's box  Feb 15, 2006
A very difficult book to review. Not because the book was difficult to read, mind you. "Brothers In Hope" may be many things, but its story is certainly a thoughtfully paced tale. I liked the book fine. The illustrations were not of a style that I've ever really taken to, but that doesn't mean they weren't good. The problem with reviewing children's books is that you have to constantly separate your own personal preferences from the titles you look at. I'm not a fan of Chris Raschka's style either, but there was no denying that his book "The Hello Goodbye Window" was lovely. No, the reason I found this book so hard to review was its subject matter. Picture books that talk about difficult times, whether historical or current, have a tough road to travel. With this tale at her fingertips, Mary Williams has done the best she could with a mighty difficult bit of subject matter.

Garang is only eight when his family's Sudanese village is destroyed while he tends the cattle in the field. Not knowing where to turn or even where to go, he meets boys just like himself traveling down the road. All of them have lost their villages, much in the same way that Garang did, while tending their family's animals. We watch as the boy adopts little five-year-old Chuti Bol as his special companion and the two travel with the group from refugee camp to refugee camp. They met Tom, a relief worker who fights for the boys' education and rights. Even after reaching the first refugee camp the boys still have to run back and forth across the Sudan border to stay alive. As Garang and the boys finally make a home for themselves in Kenya the years pass. Tom finally comes back and informs everyone that the United States will start taking the boys in as refugees. The story is done but it is far from over. In her Afterword, Williams does not sugarcoat the challenges the boys still face in America. I appreciated that she mentioned that "Several communities of Lost Boys do not benefit from the resources and emotional support of committed volunteers". Still, the story she draws from their trials is a hopeful one and one that needs to be told.

In the back of the book is a map of Africa that shows the path the boys took in the story. Mary Williams herself, we learn via bookflap, has worked for such organizations as the International Rescue Committee and UNESCO. For a first book, she has a good grasp of narrative. Williams draws gentle comparisons between moments in Garang's life, tying them together without difficulty. The fact that he knew how to herd cattle accounts for his ability to herd young boys a little later. Williams is a little vague on some of the details, of course. We must assume that Garang is not actually real and that he is just a representative she created to stand in for other boys. If this is not the case, it is not mentioned in the book. It's a little difficult to believe that the 35 boys in his group never succumb to illness, drowning, or starvation in any way, but I figure Williams knew that the story was so harsh that a little lightening here and there couldn't hurt.

As I mentioned before, the illustrations of R. Gregory Christie are not a style that I particularly take to. But that's just me. Though I found his picture of Tom when old downright scary, I appreciate that he's found a form of illustration that works for him and illustrates his books accordingly. I have to say that I much preferred his work on books like "Richard Wright and the Library Card". I kind of wish he'd used that kind of drawing for this book rather than his current form. Ah well.

There are few books I can think to compare "Brothers In Hope" to. If you should read this book to a kid and you find that they would like to know what life was like for the brothers when they got to America, the closest equivalent I can think of is "The Color of Home" by Mary Hoffman. Of course, the people in that book are Somalian, not Sudanese. But the Somalians, like many Lost Boys, have often moved to cold climate regions in America like the Dakotas or Minnesota. The comparison is not entirely without merit. Still, "Brothers In Hope" is a rare fish. You won't find many books like it out there. Deserving of its praise.

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