A Long Way Gone – Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

This is a powerful book, an intense book.  Ishmael Beah is 13 years old when he is separated from his family and begins to wander in his country of Sierra Leone, in search of food and safety from the random violence of civil war.  He never sees his family again.  He manages to survive and eventually is forced to join the government soldiers who oppose the rebel forces.  As a child soldier, he lives a horrible life, filled with violent attacks on villages and drug abuse.

When he is 15 he is rescued and rehabilitated in the Sierra Leonan capital of Freetown.  From there he eventually makes his way to New York City, where he lives today.

His memoir is a testimony to the depravity of mankind and the heartbreaking sadness of children forced into warfare.