HG Literary
Published by
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2017-06-13)
Current material
2nd Pass Pages
Original language
Books for very young children, children’s picture books & activity books


by Hutton, Keely

Soldier Boy begins with the 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 forced to fight government soldiers alongside his brutal kidnappers, but never stops dreaming of escape.

This exciting young adult novel is based on the true life story of Ricky Richard Anywar, who was a child soldier in Uganda in the late 1980s and now runs the Friends of Orphans Center in Pader, Uganda. In the novel, a young boy named Samuel comes out of the bush, having escaped Joseph Kony's Lord Resistance Army, and ends up at the Friends of Orphans Center. Frightened and traumatized, Samuel meets a man who tells him a story of a boy whose family was killed by the LRA, except his brother Patrick, with whom he was forced to fight alongside his kidnappers for years. He finally escapes, by never losing hope and remembering the true meaning of home. That man ends up being Ricky Anywar.

A portion of the proceeds to SOLDIER BOY will go directly to Friends of Orphans Center in Uganda.

Keely Hutton is an educational journalist and former teacher. She is the recipient of the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop scholarship at Chautauqua. Since 2012, she has been working closely with Ricky Richard Anywar to tell his story. Soldier Boy is her first novel.
Ricky Richard Anywar is the founder of the internationally acclaimed charity Friends of Orphans, and a former child soldier in Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Since escaping the LRA, Anywar has dedicated his life to rehabilitating other survivors and advocating for peace in their communities.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Annelie Geissler

Available View on Rightsdesk


Unapologetically searing and catastrophically truthful, a reminder to readers that it demands much to meet harsh realities with impossible courage.

Review: Kirkus

SOLDIER BOY by Keely Hutton recently won an AudioFile Earphones award for the audio edition.

Quote: AudioFile Earphones

SOLDIER BOY by Keely Hutton was listed as one of Booklist'sTop 10 Novels for Youth

Quote: Booklist

A compelling tale . . . with a message of hope . . . A must-purchase for teen collections.

Review: School Library Journal, starred review

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.

Review: Booklist, starred review

Ricky Richard Anywar, about whom SOLDIER BOY is based, recently traveled to Sweden to accept the Child10 Award for his work with Friends of Orphans, his Uganda-based humanitarian organization which works to rehabilitate former child orphans.

Quote: HSG

Over the years I have read many novels and memoirs about children and warfare in modern Africa, butSoldier Boystands 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.

Quote: Alicia Catharine Decker, Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University

Hutton approaches the setting, conflict, and characters with unremitting honesty, drawing from Anywar's own life (he contributes an afterword) while using the fictional Samuel as a stand-in for the current generation of unwilling soldiers.... eye-opening and relevant.

Review: Publishers Weekly, starred review

Italy: Mondadori

Quote: hsg

Macmillan is launching the Soldier Boy Philanthropic Campaign to benefit Friends of Orphans, the humanitarian organization run by Richard Ricky Anywar, the subject of SOLDIER BOY. Friends of Orphans will receive a quarter of the book's proceeds, in addition to the funds raised by bookstores and classroom fundraisers during the campaign, a portion of which will be matched by Macmillan.

Quote: hsg

Hutton approaches the setting, conflict, and characters with unremitting honesty, drawing from Anywar’s own life (he contributes an afterword). Eye-opening and relevant.

Review: Library Journal, starred review

The book was listed on the Texas Library Association's TAYSHAS list,designed to motivate young adults, grades 9-12, to become lifelong readers and to participate in the community of readers in Texas.

Quote: HSG

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