Cannell Agency
Published by
Blackstone Publishing (2018-11-06)
Current material
Final Pages
Original language


A Journey From Sudan's Dinkaland to San Diego's City Heights

by Bernstein, Judy A.Deng, Alephonsion

This memoir by a refugee from Sudan tells of the wonder and disappointment that he faced as he began to experience life in the strange place called America.

Nineteen-year-old refugee Alephonsion Deng, from war-ravaged Sudan, had great expectations when he arrived in America three weeks before two airlines crashed into the World Trade Towers. Money, he'd been told, was given to you in pillows. Machines did all the work. Education was free.

Suburban mom Judy Bernstein had her own assumptions. The teenaged "Lost Boys of Sudan" - who'd traveled barefoot and starving for a thousand miles - needed a little mothering and a change of scenery: a trip to the zoo, perhaps, or maybe the beach.

Partnered through a mentoring program in San Diego, these two individuals from opposite sides of the world began an eye-opening journey that radically altered each other's vision and life.

Disturbed in Their Nests recounts the first year of this heartwarming partnership; the initial misunderstandings, the growing trust, and, ultimately, their lasting friendship. Their contrasting points of view provide of-the-moment insight into what refugees face when torn from their own cultures and thrust into entirely foreign ones.

Alephonsion Deng was relocated from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to the United States as part of the UNHCR refugee resettlement program in 2001. He now lives in San Diego and shares his extraordinary story of survival and his belief that you cannot change what happened to you but you can create your own future with schools, colleges, and organizations.

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Fans of Bernstein and Deng's previous work, the story of the Lost Boys, and of refugees and their incredible courage and willingness to embrace a new culture will find much to ponder.

Review: Library Journal, starred review

Disturbed in Their Nests is a strikingly original memoir that opens a broader conversation on the momentous issues of our time . . .The captivating stories create eyebrow-raising reflections on the nature of suffering [and] humane obligations to assist one another . . . [and shine] positive light on otherness . . . and the clever navigation of the long pathways from localism to cosmopolitanism that speaks to the richness and transformative capacity of social relationships.

Quote: Toyin Falola, author of A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt

At a time when our immigration and refugee programs are under siege, Disturbed in Their Nests is a welcomed breath of reality. The book poignantly chronicles the plight of refugees fleeing their homeland, their struggles adapting to their new country and their triumphs in becoming new Americans.

Quote: Bob Montgomery, Former Executive Director, International Rescue Committee (IRC),

"[C]ompelling . . . A memoir that will bring comfort to those enduring similar challenges, the book's stories will be instructive to those committed to improving the quality of immigrants' lives.

Review: Foreword Reviews, starred review

[A] compelling dual memoir... it is an important reminder of all we share as human beings... This book represents the beginning - or a necessary reset - of an essential dialogue.

Review: Kirkus

DISTURBED IN THEIR NESTS was selected as a 2018 Nautilus Gold Award Winner for Multicultural and Indigenous category

Quote: Nautilus Gold Award

[A]n eye-opening and richly layered account.

Review: Booklist

Disturbed in Their Nests offers evidence that all of us are always one decision or moment away from a totally different life. Judy and Alepho's experiences illustrate how to overcome fear of the unknown and to engage in relationships that foster respect for our common humanity.

Quote: Anita Ayers Henderlight, Exec. Director Africa Education & Leadership Initiative

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