A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

This book is a memoir of Ishmael Beah, an ex child soldier during wartime in Sierra Leone. His journey started when the rebels arrived at his village. He was chased from village to village by the war that spread further and further. The places he visited destroyed and his family and brothers killed. Until he met the government side who they called the army, and recruited as a soldier. The youngest of those child soldiers were 7 and 11 years old. They learnt how to shoot when they were not even strong enough to carry the guns.

About half of the book talks about Ishmael’s rehabilitation time. It is so sad that after all the effort and time to humanize the children, the war reached the cities nevertheless and a lot of them needed to go back to their old life. At the end Ishmael ran out of the country to Guinea, the neighbouring country of Sierra Leone. Here I felt that the book stopped almost abruptly, since I thought he was gonna go on until he’s safe in US. (Later on he ran to US with the help of his contacts he met when he went to US for UN conferences)

The story is told fluidly. I never felt it slow down. It’s a good read from beginning til the end. An eye opener for situations that we normally would never think about. And they do happen in some parts of the world. This is why I read memoirs and biographies.

Pages: 229
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

2008 Alex Award

First line
My high school friends have begun to suspect I haven’t told them the full story of my life.

Last line
I concluded to myself that if I were the hunter, I would shoot the monkey so that it would no longer have the chance to put other hunters in the same predicament.

Also reviewed by

Ramya’s bookshelf | Trish’s Reading Nook

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