Tragic. This word seems inadequate to capture the immense suffering that Ishmael Beah and other Sierra Leonians go through during political upheavals in the country. At the tender age of twelve, Beah is separated with his close-knit family, witnesses the torching of homes, obliteration of people’s lives and livelihoods and the gruesome murder of human beings. He also comes to multiple close encounters with death as he flees the war and is eventually recruited as a boy soldier. Brainwashed and vengeful, the teen ends up killing and maiming multiple people before he is finally rehabilitated. In A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Beah narrates his experience under the 1991-2001 civil war that left over 50,000 dead.