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 | September 5, 2008

Pricing and Purchase Info

$15.08 online 
$16.95 list price save 11%
Earn 75 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


My new friends have begun to suspect I haven't told them the full story of my life.
"Why did you leave Sierra Leone?"
"Because there is a war."
"You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?"
"Yes, all the time."
I smile a little.
"You should tell us about it sometime."
"Yes, sometime."

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.

In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels 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.

This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

Ishmael Beah was born in 1980 in Sierra Leone, West Africa. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vespertine Press, LIT, Parabola, and numerous academic journals. He is a UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War; a member of the Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Advisory Committee; an advisory ...
Title:A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy SoldierFormat:PaperbackDimensions:229 pages, 8.2 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:September 5, 2008Publisher:Sarah Crichton BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0374531269

ISBN - 13:9780374531263


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must-read At times more horrifying that any horror book or movie I've seen. But it is an important read
Date published: 2018-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing book truly heartbreaking i usually never read but this book was incredible. It shows how grateful we should be and the harsh realities in the world and how addiction can be beaten
Date published: 2018-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must-read Tells the story of a heartbreaking journey to escape life as a child soldier. Well written
Date published: 2018-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow This sad journey should be hard to read, but it's so beautifully written that you find yourself stuck on the journey with Ishmael until the end.
Date published: 2018-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Ishmael lived quite the life and I am really glad he wrote about it. I did not ever want to put this book down.
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sad story; beautifully done. Throughout the reading, Ishmael tells a story of his heartbreaking journey embarked to escape the life as a child soldier.
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking and incredible This book was heartbreaking. An incredible story of perseverance and strength. I have so much admiration for everything the author overcame. To read this story from the perspective of someone who lived as a child soldier was incredibly powerful. A must read.
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Shows the lives of people suffering around the world and leaves you heartbroken. You finish the book seeing the world in a different way.
Date published: 2017-12-27

Editorial Reviews

A Long Way Gone hits you hard in the gut with Sierra Leone's unimaginable brutality and then it touches your soul with unexpected acts of kindness. Ishmael Beah's story tears your heart to pieces and then forces you to put it back together again, because if Beah can emerge from such horror with his humanity in tact, it's the least you can do.