Obulejo dreams he is standing by the stream with his friend Riti, hauling in spangled tilapia fish, one after the other... Tat-tat-tat-tat! Brrrmm! Rrrrr! Ul-lu-lu-lu-lah! Obulejo slams awake, heart racing, and scrambles up off his mat. Gunshots and screams jab the air. Flashes of light pierce the darkness.
The Rebels! Run!.. Obulejo's name means 'trouble tomorrow' in the Ma'di language, and there is plenty of trouble for sixteen-year-old Obulejo when his town is attacked by Rebel troops. Separated from family and close friends, Obulejo flees into the hills and then makes a terrifying journey, full of danger from wild animals and pursuing soldiers.
Once across the border in a refugee camp, he is safer but has no future - until he joins a pioneering peace education program and begins to find ways to create a more hopeful life for himself and others.
This story is an enlightening novel based on the life story of co-author Sarafino Wani Enadio.
It depicts the horrors of the Sudanese civil war (1983-2005), with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing through the jungle to Kenya, only to end up at a refugee camp where most remained for many years.
The character in our novel, Obulejo, arrives in the camps as a young boy and survives the terrible conditions to become a teacher, and even marry and have a child.
An enlightening story that will assist readers to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the plight of refugees in our community, particularly those from the Sudan and the struggles that they have faced.
A reminder that we must do better when assisting refugees from anywhere in the world. Dealing with themes of war, refugees, survival and a strong message of peace education, it will fit wonderfully in school libraries and reading groups for students 13 and up.
Reviewed by Rob