A Long Way Gone

Introduction

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2007) is a memoir written by Ishmael Beah, an author from Sierra Leone. The book is a firsthand account of Beah's time as a child soldier during the civil war in Sierra Leone (1990s).[1] Beah ran away from his village at the age of 12 after it was attacked by rebels, and he became forever separated from his immediate family. He wandered the war-filled country and was forced to join an army unit who brainwashed him into using guns and drugs. By thirteen, he had perpetuated and witnessed a great deal of violence. At the age of 16, however, UNICEF removed him from the unit and put into a rehabilitation program. With the help of some of the staff he was able to return to a civilian life and get off drugs. He was then given an opportunity to teach others about child soldiers. He traveled the United States recounting his story.


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