'A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier' by Ishmael Beah is a poignant tale of a child solider in Sierra Leone. At the age of twelve, Ishmael Beah lost his family and his childhood to a raging, violent civil war. Drafted into the army, Beah was fed drugs, wielded guns, and was witness to the horrific fighting that was the result of a country in turmoil. Beah would spend years in this seemingly parallel world, where boys were men, men were monsters, and life was worthless.
Luckily for Beah, he was removed from the fighting by UNICEF and sent on the long hard road to rehabilitation. Beah learned again to live, laugh and love. To return to the happy, kind-spirited boy he used to be. However, many children do not have this chance.
Ishmael Beah is now 26 years old and lives in New York City. In 2004 he graduated from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He has spoken before the United Nations and many other NGO's in an attempt to bring awareness to the plight of more than 300,000 child soldiers still left fighting in more than 50 conflicts around the globe.
He is also the President and Founder of The Ishmael Beah Foundation, which aims to help the rehabilitation of former child soldiers and ease their return to normal lives.