A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

February 25, 2010
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Have you ever read a book that is interesting and tells a heart-stopping story, but also teaches you about what is going on in other parts of the world? I didn’t’ until I read A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. The book is mainly about Ishmael and his true story of how he was trying to escape the war in Sierra Leone. The book can teach you a lot about the war, and maybe even give you ideas on how to stop it.

The memoir begins with bits and parts of Ishmael’s childhood and his normal life. One day, Ishmael, his older brother names Junior, and some friends left their village for a talent show. They were all very talented at rapping English lyrics. Soon, they found out that their village had been attacked by the rebels from the war; when they went back all they found were dead bodies and their families missing. The book carries on telling about Ishmael running from the war. During the story, Ishmael has many near death experiences and he also gets separated from his friends and Junior.

Ishmael runs alone and sometimes with other groups of boys fro months on end. When he finally finds a village that is safe from the rebels, he is forced to join the army. He gets addicted to drugs, violence, and the war. Ishmael was then knows as a fierce child soldier. The rest of the memoir talks about how he tries again to escape the fighting.

The book held a lot of action and violence, but I could never put it down. Sometimes what you’re reading seems so unreal, but it is true and very tragic. I recommend that everyone should read this book. Even if you end up not liking it, it still gets you very important information on the war in Sierra Leone. The author did a great job of writing his childhood experiences down by creating great imagery and writing it in a way that everyone could understand. Everything that was going to happen next was unpredictable and unexpected. I really enjoyed reading about Ishmael’s journey through the war in Sierra Leone.

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