4 Way Response
Ishmael Beah was a twelve year old boy who lived in Sierra Leone and his life was about to change when the novel begins. The book starts in 1993 when Ishmael’s village is attacked by rebels. The book then covers the next three years of Ishmael’s life. The story takes place all over Sierra Leone. Beah was traveling across the country fleeing from soldiers. He later joins the army and travels the country at war with the rebels. After being a soldier Ishmael is taken to Freetown and rehabilitated. He visits New York and then flees to Guinea when Freetown is overthrown.
This story shows a real life description of a child during the war to overthrow Sierra Leone’s government. Ishmael’s family is dispersed during the initial attack of his village. He keeps his older brother, Junior, with him for the beginning of his travels. He meets up with old friends. They are later dispersed and he finds new friends. The travel and face many hardships. They travel across the country searching for their families and safety from the war. They eventually join the army. He fights for two years and then gets taken to Freetown for rehabilitation. He learns to become a civilian again, lives with his uncle, but turmoil follows him. Freetown is attacked and his uncle dies, and he flees to Guinea so he won’t have to rejoin the army.
I was very moved by the story that Ishmael told. I can never even begin to relate to what this brave man has been through, but I can feel emotions about it. His story taught me the horrors that many children have gone through during war. Ishmael was forced to fight, he was drugged so he wouldn’t care that he was killing people, and became as inhuman as the people he sought to kill. Ishmael was forced to kill many people and didn’t mind it. He did cocaine to numb the pain and took pills to give him energy and make him fierce. I call him brave because he overcame these things.
Ishmael lost everything... [continues]
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