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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier

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Book Review
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Jessica Jung

AP Human Geography
Mr. Reidy
August 17, 2016

War creates fight among humanity and can destroy the minds of adolescents. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is a book written by Ishmael Beah based on his personal story of survival during the Sierra Leone Civil War. The book was published in 2007 by Sarah Crichton Books of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in New York. The memoir discusses the struggles of Sierra Leoneans during the times of their civil war from the 1980s to 1990s. Beah concentrates on how children were affected by the attacks of the Revolutionary United Front. Through his expressive words, he strongly discusses the repercussions of war on the
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The beginning theme of region is displayed by the multitude of different countries and villages Ishmael comes in contact with. In the chronology section of the book it states, “many tribes from other parts of Africa had migrated and settled in what came to be known as Sierra Leone”, proving how the historic country became to be considered a region (Beah 219). According to the article, a region is an area inhabited by a population based on common traits, such as language, religion, or a system of livelihood. Sierra Leone is both a formal and functional region due to its borders, along with the characteristics of its people. Beah mentions the struggles he experienced while crossing the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea. He states, “the border was crowded with soldiers who either didn’t speak english or pretended not to” (Beah 213). This statement shows the language barriers between countries, hence relating back to the common traits that can be found in a formal region when separating geographical locations. As a functional region, Sierra Leone’s node can be identified as the nation’s capital, Freetown. The book mentions the State house and the House of Parliament as well on page 202, which can further explain the center point of the independent state. Following region, the theme of mobility is shown when Ishmael “walked for…show more content…
I did very much enjoy the book due to its action packed and realistic stories of a child having to escape from danger. Beah was not afraid to expose the truth on the lives of the children in Sierra Leone. Further explanations and background information about the actual war would have made it more informative, but I do understand that the story is coming from a twelve year old boy who was probably experiencing confusion as well. I can connect with the book in several ways, starting with how I moved to the United States, just like Ishmael had, at the age of nine from South Korea. Adapting to a new place with different customs was extremely challenging for me, so I can imagine how much more difficult it must have been for him. Ishmael also experienced the misery of losing his loved ones. I can relate to this as I was heartbroken when my great grandmother passed away. Death of a loved one is an unfortunate thing for any child to have to experience. A clear world connection from the book relates to the current issues we have with the terrorist group, ISIS. As part of Iraq and Syria, they express their power through violence, much like the rebels had in the book. Growing up in a safe environment, I never realized how much of a devastating effect war actually had on people worldwide. Beah’s inspiring words helped me become more appreciative for the
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