Ishmael Beah was a normal adolocent in Sierre Leon. He and his friends adored hip hop music and spent their free time learning songs by NWA, Heavy D, LL Cool J, piece-parting a cool wardrobe and learning dance moves in order to compete in talent contests throughout the area. Ishmael’s life is completely torn apart when the rebels and the official army begin fighting. Villages are destroyed, women and girls are raped, men are murdered and children are kidnapped, drugged, brainwashed and turned into tiny robotic soldiers.
Ishmael’s story reads like fiction – it’s nearly impossible to wrap my brain around the fact that this is a true account. My heart broke for this child over and over and over again. The writing style is simple, yet so significant. I encourage everyone to read this book. You’ll be hypnotized by the horror and inspired by a boy who emerged from the deepest darkness imaginable back into the light.