Boy Soldier

memoirs of a boy soldierA Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

This story is about a child who was torn away from his family because of the war throughout Africa. When Ishmael Beah was about 12, the rebels came attacking and Ishmael had to escape and fight for his life. Ishmael walked for days trying to find hope in search of his family. He was forced to join the army and fight for his life when he was only 12. Like many young children, the rebels brainwashed him and turned him and turned him into a killing machine, and wanted to kill everyone in his path.

The book details what he and other children went through during the war, and while it is hard for people in my situation to identify with it, it hurts to know that these kind of things have gone on in the world, and continue to do so.

ishmael beah  

They smoked marijuana and did other drugs so they wouldn’t feel the pain of what there were going through. He was then was put in a camp in Africa, where he met Esther. Esther had found out where Ishmael’s Uncle had lived. Ishmael lived with them for a while. Later his uncle died from a sickness, and Ishmael escaped for his life and was lucky enough to have a second chance in America.

memoirs of a boy soldiersIshmael now tells stories about his past, the devastation that war can cause, even in children, and teaches other people about how fortunate they are for what they have.

The title perfectly represents the book. Ishmael is so far from his home and traveled further and further away therefore he’s “A Long Way Gone”. Ishmael is so far from his family and risks his own life to find them. An incident in the book that represents the title is when the war started and he had to leave his hometown. Also it means a long way gone from his emotions, he had to turn off his emotions to deal with the situation he was in.

a long way goneIshmael changes a lot throughout the story. Ishmael was a normal little boy till the war started. He was drugged and then he became vicious and fierce! After he escaped and made in into the United States he became himself again, or at least another version of himself. Esther was always friendly and trying to help Ishmael with everything he needed.She was very loving and found Ishmael’s uncle and connected him with his family. Uncle Tommy was always loving and caring, he had to be courageous to help his family survive. He later passed away from a sickness.

This story represents what many children in war torn countries are forced to go through at a young age. Politics destroy many countries, as well as money and greed. Adults know that children are more feeble minded and do not understand the world the same way that the adults of these countries know it. They listen to elders and follow orders believing that the older generation guiding them knows what they are doing and believes it to be right, so the boy soldiers just follow along. It is a sad sentiment when one realizes and learns about the horrors going on in other countries. My inclination is to go out and help children like this, but I am only one man and can only do so much. I have a passion to protect people, and am for causes where the human life is respected and am willing to protect our kind (the human race) against the disastrous circumstances and horrible people that some are forced to face against.

I have learned a lot of life lessons in this book. I am very fortunate for what I have, what school I get to and where I live. This book has taught me to be very grateful for everything. It also made me think more what other people go through in Africa and how the war has killed thousands of innocent lives.

I loved every part of the book. There was a lot of meaning in the book and it has taught me many things. I thought it was crazy how much he has been through, I think I wouldn’t be able to make it through.