The powerful story of a young boy's capture, training, and struggle for survival in an African boy soldier army and his eventual escape.
'If they ever come here,' his father had warned, 'drop everything. Just run and hide!' And now they were here. God's Freedom Army or whatever their name was. Bringers of blood and suffering. Rebels! Killers! Every one of them.
Hundreds of thousands of children are abducted from their homes and used as boy soldiers. This is the story of one them. 12-year-old Sam is ripped from his village in Uganda and forced to march with rebel soldiers to their training camp in southern Sudan. A weapon is thrust into his innocent young hands and his life becomes that of enemies and battles, violence and death, as he's turned into a soldier. With no escape, danger is around every corner, the threat of death is everywhere. But there are ways to survive. Sam becomes friends with a fellow boy soldier and together their dreams of escape become a strength. Together, they are ready to fight.
Malone weaves together a genuinely thrilling narrative, rich in regional and nautical details. This is real Boy's Own stuff, that will appeal to the action movie fan in every reader. - School Librarian
Geoffrey Malone spent his early life in Africa and did not receive any formal schooling until the age of eleven. He later spent sixteen years as a soldier, then left the UK for Toronto, where he joined a Canadian advertising agency.
An encounter with a colony of beavers in the Ontario wilderness during his stay in Canada, led to his first book - Brunner. He returned to Britain determined to write for children. He has now had eight books published, most of which are about wild animals. They are all closely observed and describe the struggle for survival among differing species, in today's man-dominated world.
He won the (prestigious) French Children's Book of the Year, TamTam Prize, for Torn Ear, the story of a fox. This was followed soon afterwards by the award of the, Prix d' Enfants et Grand-Parents Europeen. In England, he was shortlisted for the 2001 Stockton Children's Book of the Year, with Elephant Ben, a story about ivory poaching.
His subjects have included badger baiting in England; the slaughter of Indian tigers, and life inside a wolf pack, in Wyoming, USA. His latest book, Dead Boys' Club, sees a return to Africa and a vivid description of the horrors of modern day slavery, as a Child Soldier.