A Long Way Gone

A Long Way Gone : Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

4.14 (116,711 ratings by Goodreads)
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""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.""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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 229 pages
  • 132.08 x 205.74 x 22.86mm | 294.83g
  • Turtleback Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Prebound edition
  • Turtleback School & Library ed.
  • maps
  • 1417828455
  • 9781417828456

Review quote

" Beah' s memoir, "A Long Way Gone" (Farrar, Straus and - Giroux), is unforgettable testimony that Africa' s children-- millions of them dying and orphaned by preventable diseases, hundreds of thousands of them forced into battle-- have eyes to see and voices to tell what has happened. And what voices! How is it possible that 26-year-old Beah, a nonnative English speaker, separated from his family at age 12, taught to maim and to kill at 13, can sound such notes of - family happiness, of friendship under duress, of quiet horror? No outsider could have written this book, and it' s hard to imagine that many - insiders could do so with such acute vision, stark language, and tenderness. It is a heart-rending achievement." -- Melissa Fay Greene, "Elle Magazine" " Hideously effective in conveying the essential horror of his experiences." -- "Kirkus Reviews""" " Extraordinary . . . A ferocious and desolate account of how ordinary children were turned into professional killers." - "The Guardian ""UK""" ""A Long Way Gone" is one of the most important war stories of our generation. The arming of children is among the greatest evils of the modern world, and yet we know so little about it because the children themselves are swallowed up by the very wars they are forced to wage. Ishmael Beah has not only emerged intact from this chaos, he has become one of its most eloquent chroniclers. We ignore his message at our peril." -- Sebastian Junger, author of "A Death in Belmont "and "A Perfect Storm ""This is a beautifully written book about a shocking war and the children who wereforced to fight it. Ishmael Beah describes the unthinkable in calm, unforgettable language; his memoir is an important testament to the children elsewhere who continue to be conscripted into armies and militias." -- Steve Coll, author of "Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001,"" "winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for general Nonfiction "This is a wrenching, beautiful, and mesmerizing tale. Beah's amazing saga provides a haunting lesson about how gentle folks can be capable of great brutalities as well goodness and courage. It will leave you breathless." -- Walter Isaacson, author of "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life""" " "A Long Way Gone" hits you hard in the gut with Sierra Leone' s unimaginable brutality and then it touches your soul with unexpected acts of kindness. Ishmael Beah' s story tears your heart to pieces and then forces you to put it back together again, because if Beah can emerge from such horror with his humanity in tact, it' s the least you can do." -- Jeannette Walls, author of "The Glass Castle: A Memoir"show more

Rating details

116,711 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 40% (47,227)
4 39% (45,216)
3 17% (19,327)
2 3% (3,651)
1 1% (1,290)
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