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A Long Way Gone:  Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Ishmael Beah
New York : Sarah Crichton Books, 2007
DT516.828 .B43 2007

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

What does war look 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 it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived.

In A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a powerfully gripping story: 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. At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation center, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and, finally, to heal.

This is an extraordinary and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

Quoted from dustjacket.