'A reminder that every childhood is different, and some are jaw-droppingly, mind-bendingly, heart-wrenchingly different.' - Morris Gleitzman, Australian Children's Laureate Deng Adut was six years old when war came to his village in South Sudan. Taken from his mother, he was conscripted into the Sudanese People's Liberation Army. He was taught to use an AK-47 and sent into battle.
Shot in the back, plagued by illness and the relentless brutality of war, Deng's future was bleak. A child soldier must kill or be killed. But, after five years, he was rescued by his brother John and, miraculously, they became the third Sudanese family resettled in Australia.
Songs of a War Boy is the inspirational memoir of a young man who has overcome unthinkable adversity to become a lawyer, refugee advocate and NSW Australian of the Year. It is also an important reminder of the power of compassion.
Content warning: Parts of this book contain confronting material that might cause distress to some readers. For ages 12+
About the Author
Deng Thiak Adut (Author) Refugee advocate and lawyer Deng Thiak Adut arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1998. His first book, Songs of a War Boy, details his harrowing experience as a child soldier in Sudan. In 2016 he was selected to give the prestigious Australia Day Address at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He is the co-founder of leading Sydney criminal law firm, AC Law Group, known for its commitment to the communities of Western Sydney. To honour his brother, Deng established the John Mac Foundation to further education and justice in Australia and Sudan, including providing university scholarships for people from refugee backgrounds. In 2017 he was named NSW Australian of the Year.
Ben Mckelvey (Author) 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 Age and West Australian newspapers. Ben's previous gigs have included editing Sports&Style and Juice magazines, and working at 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.