A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

October 22, 2019 - Comment

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. What is war like through the eyes

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.

In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.   This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

“My new friends have begun to suspect I haven’t told them the full story of my life.
‘Why did you leave Sierra Leone?’
‘Because there is a war.’
‘You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?’
‘Yes, all the time.’
‘Cool.’
I smile a little.
‘You should tell us about it sometime.’
‘Yes, sometime.'”

Product Features

  • Sarah Crichton Books

Comments

Anonymous says:

A Long Way gone Memoirs of a Boy Soldier … A Long WayGone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is by Ishmael Beah. I was asked to read this book by a Mother whose child was required to read it over the summer. She wanted my view of the book. The book deals with child soldiers in Sierre Leone in the 80’s and 90’s. I found this book hard to deal with. The graphics of the rebel soldiers is too graphic. I question having this book or similar ones read over the summer by students. I feel it should be read in class with explanations for the…

Anonymous says:

Heart-breaking I can’t absolutely love a story like this. Heart-breaking, horrifying. I commend Beah with sharing his life in a way that challenges but isn’t unnecessarily gruesome. The depths of evil…for what? The problem with mindless greed is that there is no goal, only lust, no victory, no need to better oneself, no ability to appreciate or even realize when the terrifying game is over. Instilling a desire to hurt others for immediate gratification makes us less than human. Crawling out of the pit and…

Anonymous says:

5 I would’ve liked this memoir to include some brief history and background … Given the subject matter it feels almost wrong to not give this book a solid 4 or 5 star review, but to be honest I give it a solid 3.5I would’ve liked this memoir to include some brief history and background on the nature of the war. I took the time to look this up myself but I think it would’ve brought some more clarity and enriched the book some to have included this information.I know in the back the chronology was included but I was looking more for an answer as to why…

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