Polka Dot Ponies

This will most likely be just a collection of my ramblings. I ride and train horses, so there is bound to be a lot of horse stuff. But I also just like to vent and this seems the perfect place.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Long Way Gone: The True Story of a Child Soldier

This book was one that I just happened to see during one of my many wanders through the bookstore (Can you believe that now I am paid to do that? I should have started this job a long time ago!). Anyway I was looking for something new and different. I also wanted something true. I was feeling a bit sheltered in my Midwest lifestyle and needed something to throw a little dose of reality into my ever so peaceful existence out here on the farm. So I was wandering through the memoirs and nothing really seemed to be catching my attention. After several attempts to read the back of different books (my mind kept wandering and I never see it as a good sign when the back of the book, which is supposed to highlight some key points, can't keep my attention) I found A Long Way Gone: The True Story of a Child Soldier by Ishmael Beah. It is a very fabulous and very eye opening memoir of a child soldier. It is simply the story of a child who is caught in the civil war in Sierra Leone. This book does not give much historical background to the civil war in Sierra Leone and I actually got online to find out more about it. I passed this book along to Boyfriend to read once I was finished and he loved it as much as I did.

From the back:

'Why did you leave Sierra Leone?'

'Because there is a war.'

'Did you witness any of the fighting?'

'Everybody in the country did.'


'I smile a little.'

'You should tell us about it sometime.'

'Yes, Sometime.'

This is the story of Ishmael Beah's childhood - how, aged just 12, he fled from rebels attacking his village to wander a violent land, before being conscripted into the army - where he learnt that he too was capable of terrible acts. Once he emerged he decided to tell his story, a story of the loss of innocence and the power of redemption.

This is the first first hand account of how wars are now fought: by children, on drugs, with AK-47s. In more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, there are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah was one of them.



Blogger Jean said...

Sounds like a good read. Must be awfully tempting to be in a bookstore all the time. I'm not sure I could resist....

October 20, 2008 at 8:16 PM  

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