A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier A Long Way Gone question


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Has this book changed the way anyone thinks?
Chloe Chloe Jun 30, 2011 03:53PM
I know that after reading this, I cried and tried to figure out how people could do such horrible things to a child. This book had the same effect on me as the movie "Blood Diamond". The two are similar in the sense that children are brainwashed and given drugs and alcohol, sometimes killing their families and mercilessly and thoughtlessly killing hundreds of people. I had never known about this topic until I read this book in the 7th grade, and I was horrified to learn that boys my age became child soldiers and were raised to hate authority other than the RUF, and to become monsters.



I had to read this for an English class, and I was astounded at the way that these children were being treated. Bela, if you were blown away by this, I would recommend The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine. It was an amazing story about a Cambodian woman who finds herself in a prostitution ring. I loved it, and maybe you will as well.

deleted user Or more precisely, is sold into prostitution. The author is in the new Half the Sky film.
Oct 07, 2012 09:23AM · flag

I found myself greatly impacted by the book. I became more cognizant of the fact that many suffer in unnecessary conflicts. It bolstered, for me, the thought of enough is enough in war. Even if war cannot be terminated, it stems for me a desire to remove children out of the acts of warfare that is non-voluntary.

Child soldiers is perhaps one of the saddest things to see. I recall reading about Ishmael's transformation that resulted from the murdering/killing of his family that occurred while in Matru Jong (if I got the name of the town correct). And it was a loss that eventually became not through his rehabilitation--to know that he was drawn into warfare at an early age along with many other children he saw convinces me this exists; the question people always postulate on is the scope of the problem.

To me, if much literature exists on the topic, it exists. How do we know this fact? It is due to the fact that authors keep writing about it within the context of present conflicts that keep occurring--they are our eyes, our ears into a war zone that few would dare approach. The problems of child soldiers is immense and I saw that through this book.

I look forward to continue studying the subject. But it is an eye-opening book into the world. It shows us that we have a long way to go and what youth are going through. As an adolescent here in the United States, I don't think about who to kill, strategem for war, immediate survival, They do and to truly realize that requires you immerse yourself and be open-minded, Otherwise close-minded qualities constitute the tragedies of children we see every day on the battlefield, of other things as well.


This book, along with several others I read at about the same time, not only instigated my interest in Africa, but in the world.


This book amazed me! I really wasn't expecting to like it as much as i did! I couldn't believe what they were putting these kids through and how much they had lost. And Ishmael's complete attitude change from before he was a soldier to after and how he would kill people without a thought was just.....incredible to read. It really put things into perspective for me.

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Ashley Another book I would recommend is Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School At a Time ...more
Oct 27, 2011 03:39PM · flag

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