Author: Julius Achon and John Brant
Length: 272 Pages
Release: August 2016
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I don't read a lot of nonfiction, but I've been wanting to broaden my reading in that regard so when I came across this on Netgalley I decided to request it. I don't know if I had ever heard of Julius Achon, but his story sounded inspiring and important.
This book goes through Julius's life, from when he was a small child in the village of Awake, to his adult life running a nonprofit organization to help the people of Uganda. He faced a lot of opposition through his life and I am sure continues to face it today. He was kidnapped as a young child and forced into a rebel army, he escaped and became a world class runner, he competed in two Olympic Games, and through all of this he felt a responsibility to his family in Uganda.
Julius has an inspiring story and I would love to learn more about the work he is doing to better the lives of his countrymen. This book was definitely eye opening about the things that have happened in Uganda in recent history. Julius Achon is only around forty years old right now, he was made a boy soldier only a few years before I was born. This information would be shocking to a lot of the people who live near me. So many people are blind to the happenings around the world; I know I am not nearly has informed as I could be. We live in a world information, where you can find out almost anything at the click of a button, but until someone points you toward it, there are lots of things you would probably overlook. For that reason alone this is a good book. It gives you an honest view of what life in Uganda was like for Julius, what it is like for his family.
One of the best things about this book is the style in which it is presented. It reads more like a novel than a textbook, which I think is important. It presents the facts but formatted into a story, sometimes jumping backward and forward in time to connect certain events, instead of being dry and a chore to read. And this does not lessen its impact or message in the slightest.
This is an important book and I think a lot of people would benefit from reading it. The Achon Uganda Children's Fund (the organization that Julius started alongside his close friends) seems to be a very helpful and inspiring organization. And having the background of where Julius came from, why he wanted to start the organization in the first place, and how it came to be makes it that much more powerful. It's something that I am looking forward to researching more.