AdultNonFiction Teton County Library's Reviews > A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
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Teton County Library Call No: BIO BEAH I
Allie's rating: 5 stars

I couldn’t put this book down and read it in its entirety in less than 48 hours! It chronicles the incredible journey of a young boy in Sierra Leone who one day leaves home to perform rap songs with his friends in a neighboring village, and is never able to return to his home again. While he and his friends are away from home, their village is attacked by Rebels, causing these three young boys (and many, many other Sierra Leoneans) to become internally displaced in their beloved country. Days ...more I couldn’t put this book down and read it in its entirety in less than 48 hours! It chronicles the incredible journey of a young boy in Sierra Leone who one day leaves home to perform rap songs with his friends in a neighboring village, and is never able to return to his home again. While he and his friends are away from home, their village is attacked by Rebels, causing these three young boys (and many, many other Sierra Leoneans) to become internally displaced in their beloved country. Days go by and it becomes clear that the boys will not be able to return home, nor stay put, as the violence of rebels approaches. The boys wander the countryside in constant fear that they will be killed like so many of their fellow countrymen. Eventually, the boys become separated and the author, Ishmael, at only 12 years old is recruited to join the Army. Armed with an AK-47, the desire for revenge, and a variety of drugs, Ishmael kills many rebels, along with innocent civilians. His life takes a series of unexpected turns that lead him down a road to recovery. But will his country and countrymen be as fortunate?
Ultimately, this story is one of hope and the possibilities that exist in the human spirit. The reader understands how good, well-meaning people can do horrific things; and that the same people can be transformed again. What makes this book so readable, despite many gruesome details, is its complete honesty. The fact that it is a first person account makes it unique and really breathes life into a series of unspeakable events that tend to leave us numb to the real people living nightmares we only encounter briefly in the news.
Readers who like this book may also enjoy:
First They Killed my Father : A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Luong Ung, We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch
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