Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. iBook.
Tour of the Book:
A Long Way Gone is memoirs about Ishmael Beah’s life as an innocent civilian, an African boy soldier, being rehabilitated, and his attempts to not be pulled back into the war. Since Beah didn’t separate the book, readers can really imagine how fast everything happened. If Beah separated before the war and the time he was a soldier, readers could start thinking that a month or even a year went by without any action.
In the beginning of the book, Ishmael was an innocent 12-year-old boy. One day in January of 1993, Ishmael walked 12-miles to Mattru Jong, a neighboring village. He had heard of the war, but never knew how close it was. While in Mattru Jong, the rebels attacked. Ishmael was forced to run away from the war. He tried to escape and was had to live of off the land around him for more than a year. When Ishmael was 13, he was captured by the soldiers and was forced to join them. As a soldier, he was constantly given drugs, pain relievers, alcohol and watching gruesome war movies to keep him fighting and killing the rebels. Three years after becoming a soldier, his lieutenant chose Ishmael to go to rehab. After being rehabilitated, Ishmael’s uncle took him in. On May 25, 1997, the rebels attacked Freetown. He was able to escaped Sierra Leone and get to New York.
Serious, Factual, Honest
Ishmael Beah revisited the painful memories of being a boy soldier to describe to try to prevent child soldiers. There were over 300,000 child soldiers in the Sierra Leone’s civil war. All 300,000 of those soldi...
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...gh school and collage in New York.
I learned, while reading this book, that revenge is never good. Ishmael Beach says “and revenge will never come to an end…” (Beah 246). I agree with him. If I wanted to avenge my sister for taking a pen, I would take one of hers, and then she would take one of mine, then into a never-ending cycle of stealing pens. Although Ishmael was taking about killing for avenge, the idea is the same. Revenge cannot end. If I had asked my sister about the pen, we wouldn’t be in the never-ending cycle of revenge. Ishmael is trying to tell readers, revenge is not the answer to anything even if it seems like it is the thing to do.
1. Ishmael Beah is described as gentile hearted and sweet but forced to do horrible things. He is one of the 300,000 child soldiers who were victims of their childhood being stolen from them.
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