A Long Way Gone

Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Internal Characterization

Ishmael is a kind boy who is very passionate about rap music. He loves to come home from school to hang out with his friends and listen to rap. He starts to change when his village is attacked and he is captured by rebel soldiers. When he escapes from the rebels he learns to fend for himself. He becomes very hungry almost to the point of starvation and has to steal food from others, fight for his life and find or build his own shelter.

Historical Connection To The Past

I had a historical connection to the past. In the past child labor was very common. This makes me think of child labor because children were captured by rebel soldiers during the civil war in Sierra Leone. When the children were captured they would be forced to train and fight for the rebels just like when children were forced to work

2 Important Vocabulary Words

Veranda- A roofed platform that is alongside a house on the outside that is leveled with the ground floor.

Cassava- The starchy tuberous root of a tropical tree that is used as food in many tropical countries which requires careful preparation to remove any traces of cyanide.


The setting takes place in Sierra Leone. It is a very tropical environment with lots of tropical fruits. There is many swamps, rivers, and dangerous animals. There is lots of poor and destroyed villages because of the war.

Conflicts: Self and Nature

There is many conflicts in this book I am going to talk about two.

Self: The first one is conflict with self. In the book Ishmael has a struggle with himself. He has to learn to survive by himself. He has to get food, water, and shelter by himself since he never gets to see his parents, his brother, and his friends again.

Nature: The next conflict is nature. Ishmael has to survive in the wilderness. The only way he can eat is by finding tropical fruit in the forest. He either has to take a chance and eat the food or find out if it's poisonous just by looking at it. He also has to survive the weather and dangerous animals. Ishmael must make his own shelter in the forest to survive.