They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky
Benjamin, Alepho, and Benson were raised among the Dinka tribe of Sudan. Theirs was an insulated, close-knit world of grass-roofed cottages, cattle herders, and tribal councils. The lions and pythons that prowled beyond the village fences were the greatest threat they knew.
All that changed the night the government-armed Murahiliin began attacking their villages. Amid the chaos, screams, conflagration, and gunfire, five-year-old Benson and seven-year-old Benjamin fled into the dark night. Two years later, Alepho, age seven, was forced to do the same. Between 1987 and 1989, thousands of other young Sudanese boys did likewise, joining this stream of child refugees that became known as the Lost Boys. Their journey would …show more content…
The journey through the refugee camps and finally, to America introduces the Lost Boys to a new language (words like “dessert” and “because”), a new culture, and many new things. Recall two episodes where the authors encounter new objects or concepts. Describe their initial reaction in each instance.
BROADER THEMES AND QUESTIONS
FAMILY AND FRIENDSHIP. Robert E. Lee once said “What a cruel thing is war...to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors.” After reading this book, do you think this is always the case? How does war impact families? How does it shape friendships? What qualities does it bring out in people throughout the story?
RITES AND INITIATIONS. “My mother wore the radiating scarification mark on her forehead as a sign of her bravery” remembers Benson. Rites and initiations are important aspects of the Dinka culture. Explain two different cultural initiations common to the Dinka. What is the role of such rites in a culture? Do you know of any such rites, initiations, and/or identifying marks in your own family or culture?
GROWING UP. Though torn from their homes and their families, the Lost Boys were still very much children. From their early childhood in the village to their adolescence in the refugee camps, we watch them grow up in this story. Can you relate to any of their experiences growing up? What about the games