What Is the WhatWhat Is the What by Dave Eggers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book really amazed me. I'm amazed at how the author, Dave Eggers, completely embodied Valentino Achek Deng's--the protagonist--voice and told his story. This book is a novelized account of Deng's real life story. Deng belongs to the Lost Boys of Sudan, a generation of Sudanese boys who were displaced by war, some of whom were relocated to America. The novel narrates the Lost Boys' odyssey from wherever they had lived during peace to refugee camps across Africa (if they didn't, literally, get eaten by lions along the way.) Deng's African story, alone, is riveting but we also learn about his odyssey once in America. He arrives in Atlanta convinced that he will soon enroll in a four year college and finds that goal much, much harder to achieve than he ever dreamed. As in a Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Eggers' writing is nothing less than excellent and compelling. This book was all at once inspiring, engrossing, and heartbreaking.

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