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Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton

✭ “Eye-opening and relevant.”
Publishers Weekly,


✭ “Visceral.”

✭ “A must-purchase for teen collections.”
School Library Journal,




“A visceral indictment of man’s inhumanity to man while also celebrating human beings’ ability to empathize and to rescue those who desperately need saving.”
Booklist, starred review ✭

“A story that stands up for the unrelenting power of the human spirit to reject evil, the nigh-impossible odds that must be conquered to escape enslavement, and the deep scars that remain for a lifetime. . . Unapologetically searing and catastrophically truthful.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Over the years I have read many novels and memoirs about children and warfare in modern Africa, but Soldier Boy stands out as one of the very best. Based on actual historical events, this compelling novel is a story of great violence and pain, but it is also one of tremendous strength, courage, and resilience. I will definitely be assigning it to my students for many years to come.”
—Alicia Catharine Decker, Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University


Soldier Boy
by Keely Hutton

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

ISBN-10: 0374305633
ISBN-13: 978-0374305635



Kevin R. Free (Narrator)

Macmillan Young Listeners 

ISBN: 9781427287137




Here is the true story of Ricky Richard Anywar, abducted at age fourteen in 1989 to fight with Joseph Kony's rebel army in Uganda’s decades-long civil war. Ricky is trained, armed, and sent to battle government forces alongside his brutal kidnappers. After witnessing unimaginable horror, he manages to escape.

Here also is the story, set twenty years later, of a fictionalized character named Samuel, representative of the thousands of child soldiers Ricky eventually helped rehabilitate as founder of the internationally acclaimed charity Friends of Orphans.

Working closely with Ricky himself, Keely Hutton has written an eye-opening book about how one boy’s unbreakable spirit and indomitable courage led him to survive war and enslavement and go on to create a haven for others who suffered a similar fate.


Teachers Guide:
Click HERE to download.

Author’s Note:
Read how Ricky and Keely met and Soldier Boy came to be HERE.

Friends of Orphans Center
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