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.” “Cool.” I smile a little. “You should tell us about... read more
A Long Way Gone is the amazing story of a boy from Africa who battled a horrible war and lived to tell about it. He was only thirteen and was forced with the choice of to kill or to be killed. Ishmael and his brother fled his village, Sierra Leone, because part of the Revolutionary United... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
A Long Way Gone is the amazing story of a boy from Africa who battled a horrible war and lived to tell about it. He was only thirteen and was forced with the choice of to kill or to be killed. Ishmael and his brother fled his village, Sierra Leone, because part of the Revolutionary United Front had come to their village and basically massacred it. They knew if they did not run they would either be killed or would be forced to kill. Ishmael, his brother, and some friends hide in the forest and try to go from village to village looking for food and shelter, but it seems that everywhere they go soldiers are not too far behind. The boys constantly struggle from starvation and exhaustion, but they use rap music to keep their spirits up and to keep their minds off of the horrible reality that the village they had once known was now just part of their past. He and the boys go towards Yele because it was rumored to be occupied with government soldiers, but when they get there they were all handed AK’s and were told that that was their chance to get back at the Rebels for killing their families. Ishmael becomes addicted to drugs, which were introduced to him by the soldiers to make him a more effective, yet detatched killer. One day UN peace keepers came to the village and took the boys to a rehab center where Ishmael suffered from withdrawal, but luckily overcame his addiction. Ishmael then moved to New York with an uncle for a while and he later became an advocate for human rights. His story was just so sad, yet incredible—it was heart wrenching. It mirrors the war that is going on in the Middle East where children are becoming suicide bombers and part of terrorist groups.
In the novel, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, the main conflict is the Sierra Leone Civil War in the 1990’s. The fighting began in March of 1991. The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) decided to attempt to overthrow the government. On October, 1991 the Security Council launched a United Nations mission to co-operate with the government and other parties in applying the Lome Peace Agreement. The UN was also going to aid the functioning of disarmament, demobilization and the reintegration plan. In February 2000, the council revised the UNAMSIL command. This expanded in size, and again on May 19, 2000 and March 30, 2001. Around May of 2000, a cease-fire was required to strengthen the process of peace. This contract was signed in November in Abuja. Nonetheless, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration didn’t continue, and fighting sustained. In late 2000, Guinean forces went to Sierra Leone to attack RUF bases. Attacks had been launched against Liberian rebels in Guinea. As disarmament developed, the government started to reassert their authority in previously rebel-held locations. In early 2002, 72,000 ex-fighters had been disarmed and discharged, while numerous still anticipated re-integration support. On January 18, 2002 President Kabbah declared that the civil war was officially over.
“Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies.”Saidu
“This isn't your fault, you know. It really isn't. You'll get through this.”Esther
“I knew that it was temporary and that we were only passing through. So I couldn't bring myself to be completely happy.”Ishmael
“My mother told me that whenever a story is told, it is worth listening to.”Musa
“It is similar to telling parables, but in white man's language. K.P.”Ishmael
“If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die. K.P.”Ishmael
“We will get you some help. Just be strong, young man. K.P.”A doctor in the village(unidentified).
“I've come to learn that if I'm going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge and revenge will never come to an end...”
“In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy, and confusion.”
“If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die.”Highlighted by 224 Kindle customers
“Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you. It will be quieter than I am.”Highlighted by 162 Kindle customers
This was one of the consequences of the civil war. People stopped trusting each other, and every stranger became an enemy.Highlighted by 161 Kindle customers
My childhood had gone by without my knowing, and it seemed as if my heart had frozen.Highlighted by 133 Kindle customers
I’ve come to learn that if I am going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge and revenge will never come to an end…”Highlighted by 124 Kindle customers
These days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past.Highlighted by 117 Kindle customers
I concluded to myself that if I were the hunter, I would shoot the monkey so that it would no longer have the chance to put other hunters in the same predicament.Highlighted by 101 Kindle customers
Whenever I get a chance to observe the moon now, I still see those same images I saw when I was six, and it pleases me to know that that part of my childhood is still embedded in me.Highlighted by 101 Kindle customers
“How many more times do we have to come to terms with death before we find safety?” he asked.Highlighted by 95 Kindle customers
“In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy, and confusion.” That night I wanted the sky to talk to me.Highlighted by 90 Kindle customers
This book tells an incredible, moving story about a child soldier's experience in war. As you might expect, Beah has some violent stories to tell that can be hard to hear and understand at any age; but it is not simple gore or shock. Emotional maturity is most important but a young person with little world experience would most likely have a tough time understanding.
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