A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Paperback)
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Description""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."" " 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.
- Published: 05 August 2008
- Format: Paperback 229 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780374531263 ISBN 10: 0374531269
- Sales rank: 11,389
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Reviews for A Long Way Gone
Water runs as thick as blood...
A serious memoir everyone should have in their home library.
A touching true life story of one boy's strength, courage and determination to take on a leadership role and help pull a group of friends through an on going war zone in hopes to track down their families.
Read as their friendships grow into brotherhood and where water runs just as thick as blood in order to fight for their survival through a terrible war between one nations own people.
One wrong move, one wrong answer and life is gone in a flash.
I was moved deeply by the beautiful writing and captivating descriptions through each chapter. A book so moving, at some points I needed to stop and compose myself in disbelief and in utter sadness that his experiences were 100% real. A book filled with bitter sweet moments that leaves an ever lasting impression once the last page has been turned.
The author is an inspiration to all. A must read! by Jennifer Anne Matthews
- Top review
Reviewed by Rachel - The Class for TeensReadToo.com
Imagine, you live in a village; you know, the ones without electricity and plumbing? You get water from the river for your mother so she can cook dinner but, when you come back, the village is ablaze and everyone is running. Not just running in one direction but everywhere; screaming, yelling, falling down dead.
This is what causes Ishmael Beah's childhood to be lost.
Beah starts out as a quiet, peace-loving boy who suddenly is on the run from all the destruction and terror with his older brother, Junior, and some friends. After months of wandering on paths and in the forest, they come to a farm outside of a village. Beah finds out his family is in the village and as a group they start walking. Then the rebels attack and his family is dead.
Torn, tired, and angry, Beah will eventually lose everything he cared about; his family, his health (both mentally and physically), and almost his life. As a boy soldier recruited by the Sierra Leone Army he changes drastically. Drugs, energy stimulants, and other illegal acts (in the United States) cause him to kill without thinking, never even cringing at the sight of death and basically causing him to feel almost inhuman.
A LONG WAY GONE is Ishmael Beah's memoir based on his experiences and the tragic events of his life. I loved this book because it was a huge eye-opener about the war in Sierra Leone and how it affected everyone, even children. I also believe that everyone should read this book at least once in their life time. Maybe then people can help those who have become boy soldiers or anyone affected by a war. Maybe A LONG WAY GONE could change the world, make it a more peaceful place; that is what I hope can happen. by TeensReadToo