A Long Way Gone is the true story of Ishmael Beah, who becomes an unwilling boy soldier during a civil war in Sierra Leone. When he is twelve years old, Beah's village is attacked while he is away performing in a rap group with friends. Among the confusion, violence, and uncertainty of the war, Ishmael, his brother, and his friends wander from village to village in search of food and shelter. Their day-to-day existence is a struggle of survival, and the boys find themselves committing acts they would never have believed themselves capable of, such as stealing food from children. Eventually, Ishmael is conscripted as a soldier by the army and he becomes the very thing he feared: a killing machine capable of horrible violence. The army becomes his family and he is brainwashed into believing that each rebel death may avenge his own family's slaughter. The boy soldiers become addicted to cocaine, marijuana, and "brown
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