A Long Way Gone

By Ishmael Beach

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The book A Long Way Gone is about a boy from Sierra Leone. Ishmael, who at the beginning of the story is about nine years old. He lives with his dad and older brother Junior, in a village called Mogbwemo. His mom and younger brother lived in a couple of villages over. Ishmael, Junior and Talloi their friend love to dance and rap to American music. They are going to Mattru Jong a village where they are performing to the people. They meet up with their friends that live there, Gibrilla, Kaloka, and Khalilou. They are staying at Khalilou's house while they other boys are at school, when the other boys come home early. They got out early because the teachers say that the rebels are close to Mattru Jong, the teachers said that they attacked the other towns around them. So the boys gather their belongings and go to the water wharf. They see some people they know but they do not see their families, Junior decides that they should go back to Mogbewemo to see if they could find their families...


A Long Way gone is an excellent book. Ishmael does a wonderful job of telling his story, of being a boy soldier in Sierra Leone. He goes in to great detail of his encounters with death, and the struggle it was to face killing men. It is a sad but heart warming story of a nine year old boy who lives in destruction, and lives through it to make a better life for himself.


Ishmael is the main character of the story. At the beginning of the story he is about nine years old, then it goes to when he is about fifteen. He lived a rough life, lost his family, had to kill, did drugs and moved to strange country. When he was younger he loved the idea of America, and was so fascinated with America. He is such a strong person to go through what he went through and survive.
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Favorite Passage

“When I was young, my father used to say, ‘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.’ I thought about these words during my journey, and they kept me moving even when I did not know where I was going. Those words became the vehicle that drove my spirit forward and made it stay alive.”

This passage from the book is my favorite because the message from his father can be used for anyone in a hard situation. He's telling Ishmael to be strong no matter what is going on.


Guthmann, Edward. "Once a Drugged Child Soldier, Beah Reclaims His Soul." SFGate. Chronicle, Feb. 2007. Web. 06 Nov. 2013.

Chriton, Sarah. "Google Images." Google Images. Straus and Giroux, 15 Feb. 2007. Web. 06 Nov. 2013