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

Front Cover
Macmillan, Apr 1, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
211 Reviews
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.”
“Cool.”
I smile a little.
“You should tell us about it sometime.”
“Yes, sometime.”


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.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
102
4 stars
76
3 stars
25
2 stars
3
1 star
5

It was hard to read but really worth the read. - Goodreads
An accurate portrayal of a boy soldier (surprise!). - Goodreads
I was a little disappointed by the ending. - Goodreads
Both difficult and easy to read. - Goodreads
The writing was plain and straightforward. - Goodreads
It was a real page turner, never a dull moment. - Goodreads

Review: A Long Way Gone

User Review  - Elina - Goodreads

I think this book would have been better if it was longer. I understand how Ishmael gets into the mentality of a soldier but I don't understand how he loses that mentality. He mentioned that he had friends who went back to fighting and I don't understand what stopped him from doing the same. Read full review

Review: A Long Way Gone

User Review  - Amanda Tempel - Goodreads

I loved reading this book. It makes you realize what you have, and appreciate it more. This book also touched me, and I am now more aware of things that have happened. At first I just read the book ... Read full review

All 32 reviews »

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
5
Section 3
18
Section 4
21
Section 5
26
Section 6
30
Section 7
37
Section 8
44
Section 14
114
Section 15
121
Section 16
126
Section 17
138
Section 18
152
Section 19
167
Section 20
179
Section 21
193

Section 9
49
Section 10
58
Section 11
69
Section 12
89
Section 13
100
Section 22
201
Section 23
219
Section 24
227
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Ishmael Beah was born in 1980 in Sierra Leone, West Africa. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vespertine Press, LIT, Parabola, and numerous academic journals. He is a UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War; a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Advisory Committee; an advisory board member at the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Violence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; visiting scholar at the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University; visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights at Rutgers University; cofounder of the Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW); and president of the Ishmael Beah Foundation. He has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and many panels on the effects of war on children. His book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier has been published in over thirty languages and was nominated for a Quill Award in 2007. Time magazine named the book as one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2007, ranking it at number three. Ishmael Beah is a graduate of Oberlin College with a B.A. in Political Science and resides in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently completing a novel set in his home country of Sierra Leone.

Bibliographic information