Salva, a boy from South Sudan is just sitting in class day dreaming about his home, family, and his chores he will have to do when he gets home.
Salva and the group members begin to get tired so they decide to stay the night in a barn. When Salva wakes he discovers that all of his tribe-mates have left him and starts to feel sad and visits the lady who owns the barn and she gives him food to eat. The next some Dinka people come through and decide that he can come with them.
Walking, Salva meets his Uncle and a boy his age named Mariel, which he soons befriends him. Everyone in the tribe starts treating Salva better since he is with his Uncle, who has a gun. Mariel and Salva become good friends and have a lot in common. After walking all day people start to get tired.
When everyone wakes they realized that Mariel was gone and think that he was taken off in the middle of the night. They all morn him but they have no choice but to just go on without him. They start walking east to Ethiopia, but they first have to cross the Nile River.
Salva and his uncle cross the Nile River in a boat safely and get to the Akobo Desert. While in the Akobo Desert they are attacked by Nuer Tribesmen. They kill uncle and take his gun. Salva and everyone else helps to bury as far down in the sand as they can but they don't have time to wait there because everyone has to get to the refugee camp.
Salva gets to the refugee camp but him and his Dinka people are confronted by Nuer people and they are all forced to flee the camp. Him and a lot of other boys leave together and go cross the Gilo River and get to Kenya. In Kenya Salva bounces from refugee camp, to refugee camp. While in one of the camps Salva gets teached English.