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Songs of a War Boy - Deng Thiak Adut

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Published: 25th October 2016
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Published: 25th October 2016
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The true story of Deng Adut - Sudanese child soldier, refugee, man of hope

Deng Adut's family were farmers in South Sudan when a brutal civil war altered his life forever. At six years old, his mother was told she had to give him up to fight. At the age most Australian children are starting school , Deng was conscripted into the Sudan People's Liberation Army. He began a harsh, relentless military training that saw this young boy trained to use an AK-47 and sent into battle. He lost the right to be a child. He lost the right to learn.

The things Deng saw over those years will stay with him forever. He suffered from cholera, malaria and numerous other debilitating illnesses but still he had to fight. A child soldier is expected to kill or be killed and Deng almost died a number of times. He survived being shot in the back. The desperation and loneliness was overwhelming. He thought he was all alone.

But Deng was rescued from war by his brother John. Hidden in the back of a truck, he was smuggled out of Sudan and into Kenya. Here he lived in refugee camps until he was befriended by an Australian couple. With their help and the support of the UN, Deng Adut came to Australia as a refugee.

Despite physical injuries and mental trauma he grabbed the chance to make a new life. He worked in a local service station and learnt English watching The Wiggles. He taught himself to read and started studying at TAFE. In 2005 he enrolled in a Bachelor of Law at Western Sydney University. He became the first person in his family to graduate from university.

This is an inspiring story of a man who has overcome deadly adversity to become a lawyer and committed worker for the disenfranchised, helping refugees in Western Sydney. It is an important reminder of the power of compassion and the benefit to us all when we open our doors and our hearts to fleeing war, persecution and trauma.

About the Author

Deng Adut is a lawyer working in Western Sydney. He uses his spare time to help other Sudanese refugees.

Ben Mckelvey is a freelance writer and editor from Sydney who has filed for GOOD WEEKEND, GQ, VOYEUR, ROLLING STONE, THE BULLETIN, COSMO, CLEO and the SMH, AGE and WEST AUSTRALIAN newspapers. Ben's previous gigs have included editing SPORT&STYLE and JUICE magazines, and working on the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD as a Senior Feature Writer.

He has been embedded with the ADF in East Timor and Iraq, and has worked independently in Iran and Afghanistan.

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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
 
4.7

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Informative (9)
  • Easy to read (8)
  • Page-turner (8)
  • Well written (8)
  • Deserves multiple readings (7)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (9)
  • Older readers (4)
  • Reference (3)
  • Travel reading (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (7), Bookworm (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Fantasic book, touching and memorable.

I devoured this book in a day. Now purchasing multiple copies as gifts. Inspirational book - warning, may cause empathy...

I devoured this book in a day. Now purchasing multiple copies as gifts. Inspirational book - warning, may cause empathy...

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Shocking

It makes the reader realise how lucky they are To live in Australia

It makes the reader realise how lucky they are To live in Australia

Reviewed by 14 customers

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3.0

Shocking

By 

from Australia

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters
  • Informative

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Reference
    • Younger Readers

    It makes the reader realise how lucky they are To live in Australia

     
    5.0

    I re-read this book over and over

    By 

    from Sydney

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Read
    • Engaging characters
    • Page-Turner

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Older Readers

      Its easy to forget how lucky you are. This life story was a real eye opener. What a strong man!

       
      5.0

      One of the most amazing books that I've ever read

      By 

      from Bairnsdale Victoria Australia

      About Me Bookworm

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Informative
      • Page-Turner
      • Well Written

      Cons

      • powerful

      Best Uses

      • This is a book that has to be read in your life

      It amazed me that someone like Mr Adut went thru what he did and has come out the other side to accomplish what he has,and is still doing. I am in awe of you, and I hope you can continue to do the wonderful work that you do.Thank you for writting your book.I read it in two nights,I couldn't put it down.

       
      5.0

      absolutely

      By 

      from perth

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Older Readers
        • Travel Reading

        very informative, interesting and easy to read.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Wonderful reading an inspiring book by an inspiring person

        By 

        from Bermagui NSW

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Easy To Read
        • Engaging characters
        • Informative
        • Page-Turner
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Older Readers

          Couldn't put it down, not only because of the drama and the extraordinary situations that we in a "free" world would't even think of but because Mr Adut is human, faced with violent and unpredictable changes in his life made very human decisions whilst maintain his honour and dignity.

           
          5.0

          songs of a warboy

          By 

          from collaroy plateau

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Informative
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • not for children but to children

            1/4 way in I went and checked on police reports of sudanese in this country (bad) but at the end the writer had exonorated himself. gripping from end to end

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Fantasic book, touching and memorable.

            By 

            from Horsley, NSW

            About Me Bookworm

            Pros

            • Easy To Read
            • Informative
            • Page-Turner
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift

              I devoured this book in a day. Now purchasing multiple copies as gifts. Inspirational book - warning, may cause empathy...

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Deng Thiak Adut

              By 

              from Sydney Australia

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Read
              • Engaging characters
              • Informative
              • Page-Turner
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  I really enjoyed reading Deng's true life story. It had a lot of information about Sudan that I did not know and I enjoyed how he changed the course of his life and settled in to our culture in Australia. A very good read.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Fantastic Read

                  By 

                  from Victoria Australia

                  About Me Everyday Reader

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Deserves Multiple Readings

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Gift
                    • Older Readers
                    • Travel Reading

                    Absolutely loved this heartfelt autobiography A serious must read .Its impossible not to feel incredible compassion for this beautiful man.

                     
                    5.0

                    A must read - Songs of a war boy

                    By 

                    from Coffs Harbour, NSW

                    About Me Casual Reader

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Read
                    • Informative
                    • Page-Turner
                    • Well Written

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Gift
                      • Reference

                      A heart wrenching but informative and tender book well worth reading to understand immigration and the issues around why, how and impacts.

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                      ISBN: 9780733636523
                      ISBN-10: 0733636527
                      Audience: General
                      Format: Paperback
                      Language: English
                      Number Of Pages: 384
                      Published: 25th October 2016
                      Publisher: Hachette Australia
                      Country of Publication: AU
                      Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 2.4
                      Weight (kg): 0.42
                      Edition Number: 1