What Is the What

The novel "What Is the What" tells the true story of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese boy of the Dinka tribe who is separated from his family during the Sudanese civil war. He and thousands of others became known as the "Lost Boys" in the refugee camps of Africa.

After many years and great hardships, Valentino was able to move to the United States. In the excerpt in the textbook we share some of his first experiences, including once again finding himself a victim of prejudice like many other vulnerable refugees in their new homes around the world.

Read more in Access to International English, pp. 190-195. Then do the tasks in the textbook and on this website.

Children in the Kakuma Refugee CampChildren in the Kakuma Refugee Camp


Dave Eggers: Profile (TED)


Dave Eggers (Wikipedia)


Dave Eggers: Interview (NY Times)


Article about Valentino Achak Deng (Washington Post)


The Valentino Achak Deng Foundation


Dave Eggers: Remembering an inspirational teacher


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Sist oppdatert: 11.11.2014

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