Don't Look Back
A Memoir of War, Survival, and My Journey from Sudan to America
In this propulsive memoir from Achut Deng and Keely Hutton, inspired by a harrowing New York Times article, Don't Look Back tells a powerful story showing both the ugliness and the beauty of humanity, and the power of not giving up.
I want life.
After a deadly attack in South Sudan left six-year-old Achut Deng without a family, she lived in refugee camps for ten years, until a refugee relocation program gave her the opportunity to move to the United States. When asked why she should be given a chance to leave the camp, Achut simply told the interviewer: I want life.
But the chance at starting a new life in a new country came with a different set of challenges. Some of them equally deadly. Taught by the strong women in her life not to look back, Achut kept moving forward, overcoming one obstacle after another, facing each day with hope and faith in her future. Yet, just as Achut began to think of the US as her home, a tie to her old life resurfaced, and for the first time, she had no choice but to remember her past.
About this Author
Achut Deng was born in South Sudan and came to America as a refugee when she was sixteen years old, a story she recounts in her memoir, Don't Look Back. She is now an American citizen and works in human resources at a meat-packing plant in South Dakota, where she also resides. She is the mother of three sons.
Keely Hutton is a children's book author and former English teacher. She worked closely with Ricky Richard Anywar to tell his story in her debut novel, Soldier Boy. Booklist named Soldier Boy one of the top ten first novels in 2017 and one of the top ten historical novels for youth in 2018. Her second novel, Secret Soldiers, was a 2020 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year and 2020 Children's Book Council Notable Social Studies Book for Young People. Keely lives in Rochester, NY with her husband, two sons, and adorable dog, Maximus.
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