Lost Girl Found

Lost Girl Found

Book - 2014
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For Poni, life in her small village in southern Sudan is simple and complicated at the same time. Stay in school. Beat up any boy who tries to show attention. Watch out for the dangers in the river. But then the war comes. And when soldiers arrive in her village, and bombs begin to rain from the sky, there is only one thing for Poni to do. Run. Run for her life. Poni does run from the bombs, and though many of the villagers do not escape, she does. An unknown man carries her across the river in the dark, and then she is walking--a long, dusty trek across the east African countryside with thousands of refugees. Along the way, many die from starvation, land mines, wild animals and despair, but Poni does not, driven by the sheer will to survive and the hope that she can somehow make it to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, and one day be reunited with her family. She does make it to Kakuma, where she is almost overwhelmed by misery that surrounds her. Only Lokure, a boy from her village, can give her the emotional and intellectual sustenance that she craves as much as food. But when her foster mother makes plans to exchange her in marriage for a meager dowry, Poni realizes that she must leave the camp at any cost. Her destination is a compound in Nairobi run by the strict Sister Hannah. There, if she is lucky, she will be able to continue her education and even, one day, convince authorities that she is worthy to go to the land of opportunity called America.
Publisher: Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2014
ISBN: 9781554984169
1554984165
9781554984176
1554984173
Branch Call Number: YA BASSOFF
Characteristics: 212 pages : maps ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: DeLuca, Laura 1963-

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Poni is determined to go to school and not be another Sudanese girl getting married off early. When violence erupts in her village and her family goes missing, she has no option but to run.


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lynelliot
Jan 02, 2019

Through its story of the struggles of its main character Poni, conveys the devastating effects of war and political upheaval on the Sudanese civilian population, and on Sudanese girls in particular. Also situates Poni in the culture and customs of her village, and shows how getting an education there is a struggle for a girl even before the war. Well-written with developed, compelling characters, the story unfolds organically, and never feels forced. I found this book particularly relevant for the present moment in its vivid portrayal of what it means to be a refugee from a war-torn country, perhaps encouraging American readers to have empathy for refugees seeking to resettle in the U.S.

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