A Long Way Gone - Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone

By Ishmael Beah

  • Release Date: 2007-04-01
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 1,075 Ratings


In A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah tells a riveting story in his own words: how, at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.

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."
I smile a little.
"You should tell us about it sometime."
"Yes, sometime."

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.

This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.


  • A must read

    By Mom2sixP
    At times this book was so heavy with war… but it is a true story and I guess that is how Africa feels. It isn’t exactly an enjoyable read but I appreciate the insight and would like to know more of his story.
  • Great book!

    By escowjr
  • Great

    By 1862625671(
    Absolutely amazing book
  • We I w

    By Kyleriscool
  • fire

    By dustin dessau
  • Overall Good Book With Nice Story

    By MitchTheBossMan (Youtuber)
    The story was great but just way too long, I lost attention a few times and just didn’t wanna read past a point. It wasn’t a bad book though, but I wouldn’t read it twice.
  • Great book

    By Motionfaceboss
    I really liked it
  • So Inspiring

    By Msaintlouis1988
    When I started to read this book. I could not put it down! I wanted to learn everything. And Ishmael helped us to visualize the life of a child soldier in Sierra Leone in that time. His childhood was stolen from him! He lost his family! But he was able to still live through everything to tell a story that will remind me that I shouldn’t complain! Wonderful read!
  • A must read

    By Nicole364677
    I had to read this book for an English class and at first I thought that I would not enjoy it. However once I started reading it I could not put it down.
  • Mind changer

    By MrNoDaysOff592
    Great book to read