Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah

In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael tells his story of his childhood and everything he went through. The book begins in Sierra Leone, in Africa. Ishmael is just a twelve year old boy when him and his brother, Junior, and friend set out for a music contest. As they leave, their village of Matrru Jong is attacked by the rebel soldiers. The village is destroyed leaving everyone who couldn't escape dead. The boys run for their lives and after hours they find three boys they know from their village. The boys make this journey together stopping at empty villages and find food where ever they can. The gruesome reality that these boys face is heartbreaking. Dead bodies are everywhere and the violence and cruelty is horrendous. The boys carry on and learn that their families are still alive, sadly one of the boys dies from unknown reasons. Junior has been taken by the rebels. The boys travel to find their families, just before they get to the village the rebels attack killing everyone. Ishmael will never see his family again. The boys then arrive in Yele, where they join the army to fight the rebels. There they are influenced by drugs, guns, and violence. On day the UNICEF takes many of the boys from Yele to a rehabilitation center, Benin Home. It is in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Over eight months, he recovers and goes to live with his uncle, the only family he has left. Benin Home recommended Ishmael to go to New York for a United Nations project. He does there and meets Laura Simms, a professional storyteller. After the convention he goes back home and shortly after his uncle dies. The new president of Sierra Leone announces that the city is in chaos and Ishmael fear of being a child soldier again. He calls Laura Simms and asks her if he can stay with her in New York. She says yes and he makes it safely to New York. Today, Ishmael is educating people about the harsh reality he had to deal with. He is able to talk to other families and children that have been in his situations and try to make an end to forced child military. Ishmael Beah is now a long way gone from his old life and fortunately one of the few to survive. He made it through all the inhumane violence and cruelty of the war in Sierra Leone.

1. If you were Ishmael Beah, how would you feel having been through all the things he has gone through? Explain why.

2. Imagine never seeing your family again, do you think you would be able to make it through? Do you think Ishmael could have lived throught the months and months without his friends?


Ashlyn W. 7-8 said...

Without my family, I don't think i could make it through. It would be so hard knowing you will never see your family again. I do not think Ishmael could have lived throughout the months with out his friends. I think that Ishmael was very encouraged by having his friends just there with him and supporting him.

Sydney M 7-8 said...

Yeah, i agree with you as well. I think as well it would be impossible to make it alone during those months.

Nicole H. 7-8 said...

A family provides love, hope, and comfort, and without that I don't think I could make it through. Though Ishmael had the love of his friends, nothing can replace the loss of family.

Sydney M 7-8 said...

Yeah family can't be replaced and I don't think his friends fully supplied him with that love and care that a family would.