War Child: A Child Soldier's Story

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St. Martin's Press, Feb 3, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages

In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven year old Sudanese boy, living in a small village with his parents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. But as Sudan's civil war moved closer—with the Islamic government seizing tribal lands for water, oil, and other resources—Jal's family moved again and again, seeking peace. Then, on one terrible day, Jal was separated from his mother, and later learned she had been killed; his father Simon rose to become a powerful commander in the Christian Sudanese Liberation Army, fighting for the freedom of Sudan. Soon, Jal was conscripted into that army, one of 10,000 child soldiers, and fought through two separate civil wars over nearly a decade.

But, remarkably, Jal survived, and his life began to change when he was adopted by a British aid worker. He began the journey that would lead him to change his name and to music: recording and releasing his own album, which produced the number one hip-hop single in Kenya, and from there went on to perform with Moby, Bono, Peter Gabriel, and other international music stars.

Shocking, inspiring, and finally hopeful, War Child is a memoir by a unique young man, who is determined to tell his story and in so doing bring peace to his homeland.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

Jal is a typical boy, revering the warriors in uniform who stand before him and looking up to the fighter pilots who banish the enemy from the sky. As a small child he dreams of joining the military ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jennifermary - LibraryThing

The war in Sudan through a child's eyes. Incredible. Amazing that he has survived and told the story. Most of it is unbelievable. He ends up in Nairobi with Emma, who is killed in a car accident. Incredible story. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23
Section 24

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 25
Section 26
Section 27
Section 28
Section 29
Section 30
Section 31
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

EMMANUEL JAL lives in London. His music has been featured in the movie Blood Diamond, the documentary God Grew Tired of Us, and in three episodes of ER. He is a spokesman for Amnesty International and Oxfam, and has done work for Save the Children, UNICEF, World Food Programme, Christian Aid, and other charities, and has established his own charitable foundation, Gua Africa, to help former Sudanese child soldiers. He has been featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, the Washington Post, Newsweek.com, and on NPR, CNN, Fox, MTV, and the BBC. A documentary about Jal's life, also called War Child, premiered to acclaim at the February 2008 Berlin Film Festival and the April 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. His first U.S. album War Child was released in May 2008.
Jal also plays one of the "lost boys" of Sudan in The Good Lie, released in October 2014 starring Reese Witherspoon.

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