Ishmael gives as a very vivid and chilling portrait of the horrors of war. Here we see mangled bodies, chopped body parts, intimidation, hate and disrespect in the worst. Yet even in the atrocities of war, there is hope.
Beah feels a sense of belonging with his friends. At times, strangers do help him. Beah also retains a little bit of his innocence; he likes his 80's rap music, through the story.