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Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War
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Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  71 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Ida, a member of Sri Lanka’s Female Tamil Tigers, fought with one of the longest-surviving and successful guerilla movements in the world. She is sixteen. Francois, a fourteen-year-old Rwandan child of mixed ethnicity, was forced by Hutu militiamen to hack to death his sister’s Tutsi children.More than 250,000 children have fought in three dozen conflicts around the world, ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published July 6th 2005 by Basic Books (first published June 14th 2005)
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Jun 22, 2009 Dave rated it it was amazing
Having studied and written about the horrors of child warfare myself in Heart of Diamonds, I appreciate the way Jimmie Briggs helps us understand this terrible phenomenon. Using children as soldiers is not a modern innovation, but he shows how it has evolved in an age of light, cheap weapons and insidious guerrilla warfare.

The greatest strength of Innocents Lost is the way personal stories of children pressed into war are put into the context of the larger conflicts in which they fight. Briggs
Jan 22, 2013 Jenn rated it it was amazing
This is a heartbreaking book. It is very enlightening and really gives you a taste of the atrocities that many of these children must face in order to survive. I have recommended this book to other people.
Nov 20, 2008 Courtney rated it it was ok
This book was good but it was not what I was expecting. I thought it would be a bit more in depth. It would be hard to categorize because it is not in depth enough to be considered scholarly or even investigative reporting but it is not light reading either. While it was short, it was very informative. I learned a lot about the conflicts in Colombia and Sri Lanka. He was able to make these very confusing conflicts (esp. Colombia) understandable.
Emily Whelchel
Aug 04, 2015 Emily Whelchel rated it liked it
I love the concept of this book. It contains some powerful stories about the harrowing effects of children whose lives have been ravaged by war. However, of the child soldier narratives that I've read, this doesn't make the top of my list of what I would recommend to people. There is an outsider feel to this, being written by someone who visited with these children but couldn't truly know their thoughts, experiences, or trauma.
Sarah Eisele
Aug 22, 2008 Sarah Eisele rated it it was amazing
A disturbing book because it discusses the horrible atrocities young people can perpetrate when abused, brainwashed, and exploited. Written by a jouranlist, who got himself in some seriously risky situations in order to portray how these children become involved with militias, what happens while they're there, how they escape, and what is available for them to help them recover (very little!).
Aug 06, 2010 Caylin rated it it was amazing
although clearly written like an expose/extended news article, it is a very intense, enlightening, beautiful and well-written work. at times you will feel like your there, and it can feel very troublesome. i saw jimmie briggs speak a couple years ago and got to meet him, and he is very engaging and kind.
Jul 23, 2007 Julia rated it really liked it
A truly wonderful overview of the use of child soldiers in 5 different countries. The writer adds both a well-researched background and a personal touch to his observations and interviews of individuals involved in these conflicts. Very well written and informative.
Jul 29, 2008 Heidi rated it did not like it

I felt like the author was caulky through his voice. I loved the book as reference to topics that I wanted to google/wiki/whatevs though. Sometimes it seems hard to find things happening on the global scale while weeding through the news.
Nov 02, 2008 Malena rated it really liked it
This book taught me a lot about the sad, harsh realities of young children being forced to go to war. The author, who is a journalist, tells the stories of children in Rwanda, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Afghanistan.
Mar 26, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it
Heart breaking book! Its such a tragedy that children in Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Uganda are being used as child soldiers. I actually met Jimmie Briggs at a conference in Washington D.C. and he's a very nice person.
Oct 11, 2011 Will rated it it was ok
Skimmed it - not very informative, more a story of the author than a book on child soldiers
May 02, 2010 Eric rated it really liked it
Disturbing book about how corrupt governments and cults take advantage of the children. It also opens the perspective of the continent of Africa and the wars..
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