A Long Way Gone

A Long Way Gone : Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

4.14 (124,544 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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 229 pages
  • 134.62 x 205.74 x 20.32mm | 181.44g
  • Perfection Learning
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Maps
  • 1606860941
  • 9781606860946
  • 538,186

Review quote

""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 were forced 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"
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Rating details

124,544 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 41% (50,785)
4 38% (47,831)
3 16% (20,492)
2 3% (3,936)
1 1% (1,500)
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