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A long way gone

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A Globe and MailBest 100 Books of the Year, New York TimesBook Review 100 Notable Books of the Year, and Publishers WeeklyBest Books of the Year. It is estimated that in the more than fifty violent conflicts going on worldwide, there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now in his mid-twenties, tells how, at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels in his homeland of Sierra Leone and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence and war. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

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