A Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier by Ishmael BeahA Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier

byIshmael Beah

Paperback | July 23, 2013

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At the age of twelve, Ishmael Beah fled attacking rebels in Sierra Leone and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation center, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and, finally, to heal.

This is an extraordinary and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

Ishmael Beah  was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. He came to the United States when he was seventeen and graduated from Oberlin College in 2004. He is a UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War, a member of the Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Advisory Committee, and president of the Ishmael Beah Foundation. He l...
Title:A Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy SoldierFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.24 × 5.29 × 0.64 inPublished:July 23, 2013Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143190172

ISBN - 13:9780143190172

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent read While the writing style isn't fantastic, the story Ishmael Beah has to tell is. I was in awe of his survival skills and his stamina and also how he was able to come out on the other end of his situation and make a positive contribution.
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eye-opening This book makes you appreciate the ease and innocence of your first-world childhood. Ishmael's story of living as a war child really puts things into perspective. I am admittedly naive to the goings on in war-torn countries, and this book helped me realized the gravity of the situation. What Ishmael had to go through as a young boy is absolutely horrible, but unfortunately it is a reality for far too many.
Date published: 2017-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommend This book is so sad and heart breaking I read it in grade 12 for English class
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite book My teacher let me borrow this book and it brought me to tears. I've read it 3 times and every time it resonates with me even more.
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved It Had to read this in high school and recently re-read it. Very moving story. Couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from open your arms... A shocking immersion into the life of a boy forced to defend his existence by taking up arms on behalf of his oppressors, this story will tear your heart, but you will be compelled to press on with him hoping that hope arrives. His appeal to us as readers is that we would make hope possible for the many who still run, hide, succumb... everyone has a story, we are ones who would listen, and in listening we create hope, we open our arms to welcome many to a new home...
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tough to read but worth the effort It is very hard to read and very emotive, but worth it for the understanding.
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is a really harsh read! Wow. It's rare for me to get hit by a book so much and feel so bad that I just want to hop on a plane to the country and help everyone out. But that's only because there are not many books out there like A Long Way Gone, not many books out there about child soldiers or children in Africa who are being affected by poverty, dehydration, violence and abuse constantly. We are so hidden from the rest of the world in our big suburban communities, in our huge cities with blazing lights, billboards that show the newest music, restaurants with the most exotic foods, and most of all, we are hidden from people like Ishmael Beah, and there are probably hundreds of thousands of Ishmael Beahs in countries like Sierra Leone. It just hurts me so bad, and this book really did hurt me. A Long Way Gone seems so fictional because it is so difficult for us readers to put ourselves in the shoes of our protagonist, Ishmael, who writes about his personal demons and battles as a child, being taken by foreign people, thrown into a truck with an AK-47 and being taught to kill, taking drugs and losing his family. There is so much that this book contains that is unimaginable, although Ishmael gives us the chance to believe that this is reality, for many young children and people who are constantly struggling, without the rest of the world knowing. We are always told that we could make a difference. I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to visit these poor African countries. I don't know if I'll ever make it to the United Nations and speak for them (most likely, not). But because of all that Beah had done and conquered in his life in Sierra Leone, I'm going to state a very cheesy point here: our dreams could most definitely come true. This memoir, this novel, from all of the books that I have ever read, has given me the chance to have hope. Because when we look at all that Ishmael had to deal with and how he ended up where he is now, speaking for the United Nations in the best city in the world, New York City, writing a book and becoming famous for his courage, we can only have hope that all who are suffering will eventually not suffer anymore. It's hard to retell Ishmael's story as a summary, because it all occurred, it is all true. I am not summarizing a story, but his life. Life in Ishmael's small village was normal when he was ten years old, until his village got attacked and he and his brother were on the run for it. They didn't know where, but they were on the run. Eventually, they get separated and Ishmael meets a new group of friends, and they all undergo struggles for food and clean water. Ishmael's story expresses all of the troubles that children and people in Africa undergo all in a year or so, or perhaps, a little more than that. There were moments where I felt that I was being forced to read this book, and others where I just enjoyed it so much that I couldn't stop. I had to read this book for school, and I was supposed to compare it to other works I read in that semester, like Life of Pi. Both differ, this being a solemnly true story, while Yann Martel's being fiction, but they compare at the same time. I enjoyed this because my emotions kept exploding all over the place. I was happy when Ishmael was safe, being helped by the United Nations Peacekeepers, but then remembering that Ishmael lost his whole family in a few days. I just have a warning for you readers: this is a really harsh read. You see, I never have issues with gore or blood, so I was okay with the vivid imagery. It certainly wasn't pleasing, but that didn't leave me enjoying the book less. Many reviewers did not enjoy the book for the fact that the goriness was very harsh. So, I would advise to keep caution, but honestly people? This is non-fiction. The book wouldn't be the same without this realness. We readers would not be able to feel what Ishmael had gone through, you know?
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I had to read this for high school and.. To be honest I didn't want to read this at first because it was for an assignment for class but as soon as I got into the book, I just couldn't put it down! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A difficult read This book is hard to get through but it's worth it if you do #PlumReview
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard but good read How can I say anything bad about this book? It is a difficult read at times (because of the content), but it is also fascinating. Many readers will be frustrated, but I think that is the point.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very sad, but very powerful The author's vivid memory and recollection of events during was make this book so descriptive and realistic. True account of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone. Great read.
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So much thrill This book is so fascinating, words cannot explain how I feel about this book. So many times I wanted to stop reading the book because of how tearful the experience was but I needed to complete the journey. I do not think I would ever forget Ishmael's story. I really don't want to spoil it for anyone who might be reading the reviews but seriously, if there is any book you should read, it would be this one. It would leave you at the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end. Literally!!! Now for the real stuff... I did not give 5 stars because after reading the book it looked like he was pressured into writing the book because although the book is about he's experience as a boy solider, there is barely any information about he's days as a solider. I understand he needed to share he's story but he also did not want to dig into those memories which is a bit contradictory (I'm sorry :( to say this). I mean the few he talked about sounded like a razor slicing through he's heart with guilt. According to the book he spent months running and 2-3 years as a solider but hes running has more details than the actual solider part.
Date published: 2015-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A long way gone Wow, this story is heart wrenching. It makes one think differently about judging another human. God can use any tramatic experience to help another person through a trying and painful time. Good good read.
Date published: 2015-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I have actually read this book a long time ago, however, the story is still vivid in my mind. Although the language and vocabulary in the book is what I consider as ranging from moderate to simple, it was very captivating and engaging.
Date published: 2014-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic book I bought this book a while ago and it truly changed my life. Reading this book really opened my eyes to struggle that some people have to go through. I would not consider myself a fast reader, but I finished this book within days. It is truly inspiring and I would recommend it to everyone and anyone! 
Date published: 2014-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful Autobiography I received this novel as a present a few years back and didn't get around to reading it until now. Thank goodness I did! This was such an insightful novel about the child soldiers of Sierra Leone. Even though this was an autobiography it read like fiction - and what I mean by that is there was never a dull moment and it was easy to understand and engage in. One fault: what was Ishmael's life like AFTER the war? We never find that out. Hopefully he writes a follow-up novel so we can learn of his life afterwards!
Date published: 2014-03-31

Editorial Reviews

"Ishmael's story shows both the horror and the possibility of redemption. This is an unbearable book that has to be borne. Read it.” - The Globe and Mail“The book is raw, run though with melancholy, but so honest and longing that hundreds of thousands have read it and it’s made Beah … arguably the most read African writer in contemporary literature.” - Dave Eggers, Vanity Fair“Everyone in the world should read this book. … We should read it to learn about the world and about what it means to be human.” - Belinda Luscombe, The Washington Post“No outsider could have written this book, and it’s hard to imagine that many insiders could do so with such acute vision, stark language, and tenderness. It is a heart-rending achievement.” - Melissa Fay Greene, Elle“One of the most important war stories of our generation.” - Sebastian Junger