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March 2018: Autobiography > A Long Way Gone - ✮✮✮✮✮

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message 1: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments Title: A Long Way Gone
Author: Ishmael Beah

Rating: ★★★★★

This is the story of Ishmael and his life as a child soldier during the Sierra Leone civil war during the 90’s.

This book is absolutely heartbreaking, horrifying and eventually inspirational.

When his village in Sierra Leone is attacked by the RUF Ishmael escapes with several of his friends as they wander the countryside. Eventually they are captured and forced to become soldiers, becoming desensitized to their acts of murder as they are also given marijuana, amphetamines and a mixture of gunpowder and cocaine. After several years of this he is rescued by UNICEF and hospitalized. Eventually he is adopted by his uncle and lives in Freetown. After being asked to speak at a UN event about boy soldiers he meets Laura Simms who is his chaperone; she eventually become his foster mother.

It was often very hard to read this book, the atrocities are difficult to even describe; never mind that they are bing committed to young boys who are terrified of disobeying orders and whose only relief lies in drugs. It is almost unbelievable that this happened just 30 years ago.


message 2: by Ellen (new)

Ellen | 2137 comments I read this several years ago. It was a 5 star read for me as well. So very heartbreaking.


message 3: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5771 comments Ladyslott wrote: "Title: A Long Way Gone
Author: Ishmael Beah

Rating: ★★★★★
..."


I thought you would liked this. I was incredibly moved when I read it. I'm sure it was a 5 star for me and made the best of list the year I read it.

I just read another moving story from Africa with How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child . It is probably too much to read them close together.


message 4: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments It was a five star read for me as well. He did write a novel a few years ago Radiance of Tomorrow that was a strong 4 stars for me - certainly worth checking out.


message 5: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5771 comments Denizen wrote: "It was a five star read for me as well. He did write a novel a few years ago Radiance of Tomorrow that was a strong 4 stars for me - certainly worth checking out."

I liked that as well had it opened my eyes to other issues in Sierra Leone.


message 6: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments This one is on my list of possibilities for my culture challenge (which I am failing miserably at).

I know it will be rough though...


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