Ishmael Beah's 'Memoirs of a Boy Soldier' Ishmael Beah has written a memoir about his years as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. Orphaned by the civil war there, he was carrying an AK-47 by the age of 12. Pumped up by drugs, he was forced to kill or be killed.
NPR logo

Ishmael Beah's 'Memoirs of a Boy Soldier'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/7519542/7519545" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Ishmael Beah's 'Memoirs of a Boy Soldier'

Ishmael Beah's 'Memoirs of a Boy Soldier'

Ishmael Beah's 'Memoirs of a Boy Soldier'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/7519542/7519545" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Former child soldier Ishmael Beah smiles at a signing of his new book on Feb. 16, 2007 in New York City. Beah is currently on an 15-city book tour to talk about his first-hand account of fighting as a boy in war-torn Sierra Leone. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former child soldier Ishmael Beah smiles at a signing of his new book on Feb. 16, 2007 in New York City. Beah is currently on an 15-city book tour to talk about his first-hand account of fighting as a boy in war-torn Sierra Leone.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Ishmael Beah has written a memoir about his years as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. Orphaned by the civil war there, he was carrying an AK-47 by the age of 12. Pumped up by drugs, he was forced to kill or be killed.

When he was 15, UNICEF took Beah to a rehabilitation center. He was eventually adopted by an American woman and brought to the United States, where he attended high school and graduated from Oberlin College.

His book is A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.

Books Featured In This Story