Tho the story follows two characters in two different times, the main focus is on Salva Dut. In the beginning, Salva is an eleven year old boy in 1985 whose village is attacked. He is separated from his family and ends up wandering with a group of strangers. He is sometimes abandoned and left to fend for himself. For a brief period, he reunites with his uncle, but he is unable to find the rest of his family. The group is heading for a refugee camp in Ethiopia and on the way, they deal with nighttime lion attacks, spend two days making canoes to cross the Nile River, get attacked by bees and mosquitos, suffer extreme thirst in the Akobo desert, and meet up with a cruel gang of soldiers. Will Salva survive the trials of going from one camp to another? Will he find his family again? How can Salva help his country?
About a quarter of the book follows a young girl named Nya in southern Sudan, 2008. Her village is desperate for water. Some strange men appear and begin drilling a huge hole. Are they going to find water? And how does Salva's story fit with Nya's?
This is a novel based on a true story. Salva Dut really did go through this and become a "lost boy." I'm not going to explain that. You need to read the book. The book will be a very good story for young people and provide them with awareness of what is going on in Africa and what people over there need.
A link to Salva's organization: http://www.waterforsudan.org/
I received a digital galley of this book thru Netgalley.com.