Book Review Of Ishmael Beah

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Introduction The author of this book, Ishmael Beah was forced to become a child soldier at 12 years old due to the civil war occurring in his home country of Sierra Leone which first began in 1991. After Ishmael’s home village of Mogbwemo was attacked by rebels he was separated from his family, forcing him to flee. Without a home or a family to take care of him, Ishmael then spent months wandering with a group of other boys who had been displaced by the war. While taking refuge in a village protected by the government army, Ishmael was forced to fight for the government against the rebels which ultimately ended up lasting for almost 3 years. In 1996, Ishmael was rescued by a UNICEF coalition where he began his journey of rehabilitation for…show more content…
Life changed for Ishmael in January 1996, when UNICEF aid workers took him and other child soldiers to a rehabilitation center in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Although hesitant at first, Ishmael eventually began to trust the workers and took a special liking to Esther, a nurse who played an integral role in his rehabilitation. By September of 1996, Ishmael was rehabilitated and was speaking in front of the UN where he discussed the effects of war on children and shared his story. Returning to Sierra Leone, Ishmael stayed with his last living relative, uncle Tommy which is short lived as the rebels invade Freetown and shortly after uncle Tommy dies after contacting a fever. Fearing that if he stayed he would join the army, Ishmael fled to the neighbouring Guinea so he could get a flight to the United States where he would stay with Laura Simms, a story teller he met while at the UN and who would end up adopting him. Analysis There are two major structural conditions which ultimately led to Ishmael becoming a child soldier which are the nature of war and poverty. During times of war there is no escaping the violence and uncertainty that follows it. Ishmael is a prime example of this as the nature of war heavily contributed to him becoming a child soldier. This is first seen when Ishmael is attacked by villagers that feared he and his friends were rebel spies. The

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