A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
by Ishmael Beah
audiorecording, 7 CDs
A boy survived the terrors of war in Sierra Leone in the early 1990's. Only thirteen years old at that time, he was separated from his family. He and his friends form a little band, protecting each other as they ran from every fearful thing. They could not seek help in the villages, as people mistook them for a band of killer boys. They finally stopped running when the Sierra Leone Army recruited them who them to hate, kill and fight the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). As a soldier, he survived by the only power of his weapon. He took drugs like everyone else.
Ishmael's like turned upside down when his commander gave him up to a group which he later learned was the United Nations. The UN stepped in to rehabilitate boy soldiers, to varying degrees of success. Told with no detail spared, this story gripped me from beginning to its end.