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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by…

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2007)

by Ishmael Beah

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,722258996 (4.01)1 / 224
  1. 30
    What Is the What by Dave Eggers (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both are about a refugee's survival. Egger's book is fiction based on fact.
  2. 20
    Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder (khuggard)
  3. 10
    They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan by Alphonsion Deng (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: This collection of essays provides a vision of war in Sudan from the perspective of three young boys.
  4. 10
    Ake: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: Not a traumatic childhood such as Beah's, but an African childhood of a man, who like Beah has struggled to improve and has been at odds with his own country.
  5. 00
    Chasing the Devil: On Foot Through Africa's Killing Fields by Tim Butcher (section241)
  6. 00
    A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park (RhondaHoward)
  7. 00
    War Child: A Child Soldier's Story by Emmanuel Jal (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  8. 00
    An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography by Paul Rusesabagina (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Turmoil in another African country
  9. 00
    Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq by Chris Coppola (jlink)
  10. 00
    Allah is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma (meggyweg)
  11. 11
    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: This is another story of a difficult African childhood, but it's much more uplifting throughout.
  12. 00
    Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America by Francis Bok (meggyweg)
  13. 00
    Teenager in the Chad Civil War: A Memoir of Survival, 1982-1986 by Esaie Toingar (meggyweg)

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Showing 1-5 of 258 (next | show all)
I am not sure what these warring faction accomplish-so many civilians slaughtered. Ishmael Beah's account is one of revenge, survival and "rehabilitation". It is tragic that so many children lost their childhoods. ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
The memoir of Ishmael Beah who grew up in Sierra Leone. When rebels destroy his village Ishmael goes on the run and fends for himself for over a year. He discovers his whole family has been killed and is drafted into the army as a child soldier. I knew nothing about the war in Sierra Leone before reading this book. It is just awful all the horrors the people in the country went through. My only problem with the book is it abruptly ends. I wanted to know more about how Ishmael managed to get to the U.S. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
Ishmael Beahin muistelmateos ajastaan lapsisotilaana Sierra Leonen sisällissodassa. Kirjassa käydään läpi tavallisen sotaa pakenevan pojan matka huumeriippuvaiseksi tappajaksi ja palautumisprosessi takaisin yhteiskuntakelpoiseksi lapseksi. Välillä kerrotut tapahtumat ovat niin hyytäviä varsinkin lasten kokemiksi, ettei kirjaa voi suositella kaikista herkimmille. Hieman harmittaa kuitenkin, että ainakin kirjan tapahtumien ajankohtien todenperäisyydestä on noussut hieman kohua, joten jos mukana on enemmänkin taiteilijan vapautta, syö se kirjan uskottavuutta todellisena muistelmana. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Long_Way_Gone#Accuracy_dispute
  Ainop | Dec 15, 2015 |
These are the memoirs of a child soldier who was captured and brainwashed into a war with no clear ‘good guys’. Finally escaping, the boy gradually comes back to being human. He has worked with UN, has authored another book- very good but very different. This is an intense read! ( )
  HelenGress | Nov 8, 2015 |
Powerful, vivid story, but I wish more had been said about his life in the U.S. and how he adjusted. ( )
  miyurose | Sep 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 258 (next | show all)
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To the memories of Nya Nje, Nya Keke, Nya Ndig-ge isa, and Kaynya. Your spririts and presence within me give me strength to carry on,

to all the children of Sierra Leone who were robbed of their childhoods,

and to the memory of Walter (Wally) Scheuer for his generous and compassionate heart and for teaching me the etiquette of being a gentleman
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My high school friends have begun to suspect I haven't told them the full story of my life.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disturbing, but powerful book that deals with the horrible effects of violence and desperation. The author was lucky to be chosen to be "rehabilitated", but so many others were not. It actually seems like a miracle that he could be rehabilitated- his mentors showed incredible persistence in the face of extreme resistance. The memoir also demonstrates the power of the group to influence the behavior of the individual. It staggers the mind to try to grasp how much effort it would take to rehabilitate all the violent members of the world.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374531269, Paperback)

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.

In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.
This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

"My new friends have begun to suspect I haven't told them the full story of my life.
'Why did you leave Sierra Leone?'
'Because there is a war.'
'You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?'
'Yes, all the time.'
I smile a little.
'You should tell us about it sometime.'
'Yes, sometime.'"

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:22 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A human rights activist offers a firsthand account of war from the perspective of a former child soldier, detailing the violent civil war that wracked his native Sierra Leone and the government forces that transformed a gentle young boy into a killer as a member of the army.… (more)

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