OVERRIDE

War Child

A Child Soldier's Story

Emmanuel Jal, read by Megan Lloyd Davies

St. Martin's Griffin

In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven year old Sudanese boy living in a small village. But after his mother was killed and 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.
Orphaned and adrift, Jal lived through horror: marching through miles of desert toward Ethiopia, past the bones of adults and children who had fallen on the trek; witnessing the deaths of friends and family members; killing soldiers and civilians with a gun he could barely lift; starving to the point of near-cannibalism, and coming to the edge of suicide. Remarkably, Jal survived, and his life began to change when he was adopted by a British aid worker. He slowly began the journey that would lead him 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 determined to tell his story and in so doing bring peace to his homeland.

Emmanuel Jal is prominently featured in the forthcoming film THE GOOD LIE, opening September 10, 2014 in NYC, LA & Toronto.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

THE VILLAGERS’ VOICES rose louder and louder as they sang. Drums
thudded to greet us: the family of Simon Jok, the SPLA commander
who protected this village and the ones around it. Everyone
seemed so happy and I was too as I stood next to Babba—taller than I remembered,
with a bigger belly now. He’d been treated like a king after arriving
earlier in the day, and he had shown us to the tukul we’d been given
as a home. We even had cows now, just as Mamma had said we would.
They were black- and- white with big, curled horns. An elder, naked except
for
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MEDIA

Watch

  • War Child - Trailer

    18th Street Films presents War Child, a feature documentary film on Emmanuel Jal, former South Sudanese child soldier turned international hiphop sensation (ER, Blood Diamond, Live8).

  • War Child by Emmanuel Jal--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Emmanuel Jal's memoir War Child: A Child Soldier's Story. In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven-year-old Sudanese boy living in a small village. But then his mother was killed and 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.

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REVIEWS

Praise for War Child

"Disturbing and visceral...Jal tells his story in spare, direct, and searing prose that leaves nothing to the imagination and offers a close-up view of the damage done to the psyches of children turned into warriors." --Library Journal
 
"Frank, unsparing...[A] searing portrait of a war-torn youth turned community advocate and role model."--Kirkus Reviews
 
"Powerful...[an] intense personal story." --Booklist
 
"There's no glamour here, no pitched battles, only unimaginable misery... Utterly grounded, specific and real... You'll come away from this book loving Emmanuel Jal."--Washington Post
 
"Fast-paced...stark...a provocative challenge." --The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Emmanuel Jal, read by Megan Lloyd Davies

  • 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.

  • Emmanuel Jal © Nigel James, junofieldimages.com
    Emmanuel Jal
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Available Formats and Book Details

War Child

A Child Soldier's Story

Emmanuel Jal, read by Megan Lloyd Davies

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Griffin

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