How does it connect to the real world?
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Ishmael still has trouble fitting in to life in New York. He still has nightmares about his time as a child soldier. I think he might even have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He feels weary of men in uniform like police. He jumps at sounds like gunshots. Beah also had his childhood stolen from him. The things that young men take for granted (sports, dating girls, social integration) are foreign concepts to Beah.