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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by…
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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Ishmael Beah

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,4512941,219 (4.02)1 / 256
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. 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. Ishmael Beah, now 25 years old, tells 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.--From publisher description.… (more)
Member:megzanne
Title:A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Authors:Ishmael Beah
Info:Sarah Crichton Books (2008), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 229 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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

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» See also 256 mentions

English (293)  Italian (1)  All languages (294)
Showing 1-5 of 293 (next | show all)
This is an amazing tale of tragedy and survival and proves once again that the human spirit can avail over anything. I would heartily recommend this book right alongside Dave Eggers' "What is the What". They deal with very similar stories and are both incredibly well written. ( )
  LukeGoldstein | Aug 10, 2021 |
This is one of those 100 books you are supposed to read according to Amazon. 12-year old Ishmael Beah was a child soldier from Sierra Leone. After being separated from his immediate family, who are likely dead, he goes on the run with some other kids, eventually aligning with soldiers as his new family. Killing becomes his way of life until he is rescued and rehabilitated. Through a series of lucky breaks, he is reunited with his uncle's family and then becomes involved with UN efforts to help children globally. Amazing story, but overly graphic and longer than necessary. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Powerful story of courage and strength.
It took courage to go through the healing process, to go and live with family that he'd never met before; to go to America and speak (even though his uncle didn't believe in him); and when the rebels attacked again to leave the country for a better life because even though his friends around him gave in to becoming soldiers again, he realized he didn't want that for his life and he realized he wanted better for himself. ( )
  elisalr22 | Jul 11, 2021 |
I feel kind of horrible saying this because Beah's experiences were truly horrific and it is brave and heroic of him to tell his story, but the storytelling itself wasn't the strongest here. Very little of the story was spent describing his time in the army, which is understandable considering how traumatizing it was, but the subtitle of this book leads the reader to think there will be more of a discussion on this. Way too much time was spent on his roaming the countryside before his induction (abduction?) into the army, and it almost lost me completely. Beah's rehabilitation was touching, and I wouldn't have minded more reflection on his time in NYC (or when he moved there after his escape). Just overall, the story read unevenly. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
his writing is actually quite good. (this falls maybe somewhere between my tags of 'general' and 'literary' even.) it's beautiful in parts, which is interesting both because of the subject matter and how english isn't his first language.

this is an important an awful story, but in the end it's one of hope. my problem with it, and why i didn't rate it higher, is that we don't really get a clear picture of how that hope manifests. we see him go from soldier to civilian, and the months in between where he starts to become himself again. but during that time we aren't really shown how he is rehabilitated at all. he gets to be a spokesperson for how it's possible to rehabilitate children after war, but i don't have any idea how that was made to happen for him and his fellow soldiers/friends. i also would have liked him to take the story just another few months forward, of him getting to new york and what it was like to move here, to find a mother figure after losing so many family members, etc. all together this feels like something big is missing in this book for me. still, that resilience he has, and the abundant joy that is in his face in the author photo, is remarkable. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jan 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 293 (next | show all)
The book, A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier, is a story about how a boy at a young age had to witness something major that was taking place in Africa, his homeland. This leave the audience shocked because he explains what he went through as a child and how it affected him as the war went by. For the ones who have read this book understand the struggle that the main character, Ishmael, Ishmael Beah, went through. He was separated from his family and was taken in by the group who would kill the rebels to survive. The rebels are known as the ones who started the war.
added by Kayla_Tovar | editBook, Kayla Tovar (Dec 17, 2018)
 
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Dedication
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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Wikipedia in English (4)

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. 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. Ishmael Beah, now 25 years old, tells 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.--From publisher description.

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Book description
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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