The Lost Boys of the Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience by Mark Bixler
In 2000, in a historically unprecedented gesture, the federal government resettled 3,800 young men unaccompanied by parents and with no family in the U.S. when it opened its doors to those who were called the Lost Boys of Sudan. Uprooted by the civil war that had ravaged Sudan, the boys were forced to wander, dodging bullets and wild animals.
Jacob Magot, Peter Anyang, Daniel Khoch, and Marko Ayii were among 150 youth who were eventually resettled in Atlanta. Bixler, a reporter with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, follows the progress of the four young men as they adjust to life in modern America, learning to use kitchen appliances, take public transportation, and look for work. Bixler chronicles their struggles to overcome loneliness and to come to terms with the brutality of their past, as well as their frustrations with job hunting and the growing suspicion of foreigners post-9/11.
Assisted by myriad volunteers and social-service providers, the four realize their dreams of education and make lives for themselves. An inspiring story of determination and faith.
The movie is also available at the library.
Mark Bixler is an editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Book critics named his book a finalist in nonfiction for the 2005 Southern Book Critics Circle Award.
The book also received an Honorable Mention in the 2005 contest for the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, given to books about bigotry and discrimination. And the American School Board Journal honored it as a Notable Book in Education for 2005. His newspaper work is reprinted in Best Newspaper Writing 2001, a collection of winners and finalists in a contest of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Bixler, 36, is donating a portion of the proceeds of his book to a charitable fund he created to help Sudanese refugees pay for textbooks and tuition. The Atlanta office of the International Rescue Committee oversees the fund, which in its first several months has awarded 44 grants totaling about $20,000 to help Sudanese refugees pay for their education. A graduate of the University of Georgia with 14 years experience as a reporter at daily newspapers, Mark lives in East Point, Georgia.