A Long Way Gone
My current selection of books from the public library includes "A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah. The book is his story of experiencing the 1991 civil war in Sierra Leone. Not only does he witness unimaginable atrocities, but he is also forced into warfare as a young soldier. Honestly, it is one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. But yet I am recommending it. Why?
I encourage you to read this book because it places a human face on war, and that face is the face of a child. Never again will I be able to see a story on the news about a skirmish or an uprising in some part of the world without realizing that somewhere there is a twelve year old searching for his parents, or a mother who can't find her child, or a boy who will never have the chance to grow into the young man he is meant to be.
Thankfully, Ishmael has grown into a young man, and is educating the world about war atrocities. Only with education can we bring awareness to the immeasurable human cost of war. Ishmael Beah is also advocating the rights of children, especially in war torn areas.
Here is an interview with this remarkable young man: