My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Long Way Gone is a heartbreaking story of a young boy named Ishmael Beah who is unexpectedly caught in the middle of a civil war in Sierra Leone. When he is just twelve years old, Ishmael and his older brother, Junior, leave their hometown to go to a nearby village to partake in a talent show with their friends, but little did they know that they would not be able to return. A group of rebels attack and destroy Ishmael’s hometown while he is away, and the rebels plan to ransack the village Ishmael is at too. Among confusion, violence, and fear of war, Ishmael, his brother, and his friends were forced to wander from village to village in search of food and shelter. For days the terrified children walked aimlessly, starving and desperate, and trying to make sense of what had happened and was happening. Ishmael, now separated from his brother was recruited into the army as a child soldier. He fights fiercely constantly killing people and taking drugs, until he is sent to the rehabilitation center. There he struggles to understand his past and ease off his dependence on the drugs. The captivating story of A Long Way Gone is filled with so many emotions that is conveyed so well by the sorrowful or angered tone. Through the detailed imagery, this book creates an effect where the reader truly feels and sees the loss and terror of the wars. While reading A Long Way Gone, I was full of sympathy and tears putting myself in his shoes. The beginning of the book was full of action and emotion which got my attention. Near the end, the plot was less exciting but still definitely worth reading. Beah illustrates an unbelievable amount of violence, blood, and death that he saw and felt. A Long Way Gone portrays the sufferings and hardships of the children during the civil war in Africa.
~ Student: Jeana K.