Ishmael Beah was a child soldier in the civil war of Sierra Leone. He lived a content and happy life with his father and brother when the war was seemingly far away from him. Through a series of events, he was picked up by the government army, brainwashed, and forced to commit atrocities that will make the reader depressed, shocked and disturbed. One has a general idea of the nefarious actions taken by the Revolutionary United Front, and the Sierra Leonan army was no better. Both sides used child soldiers to their advantage, both purposefully killed innocent civilians and burned down entire villages for their own gain. This is the memoir of one child soldier that survived.
While not a book about religion or politics, it carries a message with it that should be taken to heart by everyone. Carolyn See of the Washington Post recommends this book to “everyone in the world . . . to learn what it means to be human.”