When he is twelve years old, Beah's village is attacked while he is away performing in a rap group with friends. Among the confusion, violence, and uncertainty of the war, Ishmael, his brother, and his friends wander from village to village in search of food and shelter. Their day-to-day existence is a struggle of survival, and the boys find themselves committing acts they would never have believed themselves capable of, such as stealing food from children. Eventually, Ishmael is conscripted as a soldier by the army and he becomes the very thing he feared: a killing machine capable of horrible violence. The army becomes his family and he is brainwashed into believing that each rebel death may avenge his own family's slaughter. The boy soldiers become addicted to cocaine, marijuana, and "brown brown," which give them the courage to fight and the ability to repress their emotions in times of war.
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A Little boy forced into a man's shoe Ishmael Beah the boy who survived a war. Ishmael Beah writes in first person view so the experience is more involving to the reader. Ishmael Beah lived in Sierra leone a small country in Africa he was a little kid with his friends making a rap group on their way to a talent show until they heard screaming and people running. Ishmael Beah.
The book is a firsthand account of Beah's time as a child soldier during the civil war in Sierra Leone s. By 13, he had perpetrated and witnessed numerous acts of violence. Three years later, UNICEF rescued him from the unit and put him into a rehabilitation program that helped him find his uncle, who would eventually adopt him. After his return to civilian life he began traveling the United States recounting his story.