Running For My Life
I read Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games during the Olympics. I read it before Lopez Lomong raced so I was pretty excited to watch him run. It is an incredible story. The beginning is heart wrenching. Reading about a six year old little boy being ripped from his family and put into a hut with other boys with soldiers trying to turn them into child soldiers affects the reader. Lopez tells of his dramatic escape and what life was like adjusting to a new family in the United States. He tells of surviving refugee camps and of running. Running was a critical part of Lopez’s life before he knew that it was a sport. For him it was a way to survive. I am hesitant to say much more about the plot because it is such a great book that I want you to find out the rest of the story yourself.
There were a few things about the book that were startling to me. I am not sure I have ever read an autobiography or memoir of someone coming from such a devastating background to America with so little critique of America. Lopez’s enthusiasm for and about America took me completely by surprise. There were of course the reflections on wealth and plenty and his struggle with realizing that the food and resources he had could change the lives of many back in Kenya and Sudan was really the only time he even discussed the anything “negative.” I am not saying that it was good or bad (after all, it’s his story) but it was certainly surprising.
I studied history in college and had a couple classes where the child soldier issue came up. Reading this story was pretty startling anyway. It was especially shocking that he was only six years old when the soldiers took him. This is a remarkable story and I definitely recommend this book!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for completing a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion here is my own.