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A Long Way Gone - Teacher's Guide: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

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39 review for A Long Way Gone - Teacher's Guide: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

  1. 5 out of 5


    Major Characters Ishmael Beah - This is the main character of the whole book.He is the narrator and author of the book.Ishmael’s internal and external thoughts and feelings are represented throughout the story.The story is about all of the struggles and obstacles Ishmael faces as soon as he is hit by war.the story is about how Ishmael's life changes both negatively and positively. Junior - This character is important because he is the last of Ishmael's family that Ishmael is with after the war hit Major Characters Ishmael Beah - This is the main character of the whole book.He is the narrator and author of the book.Ishmael’s internal and external thoughts and feelings are represented throughout the story.The story is about all of the struggles and obstacles Ishmael faces as soon as he is hit by war.the story is about how Ishmael's life changes both negatively and positively. Junior - This character is important because he is the last of Ishmael's family that Ishmael is with after the war hits.Junior and Ishmael once were close,but war caused them to become distant with each other.Junior represents how war can change people to become reserved and isolate even the closest people out. Esther -Esther played a major role in why Ishmael is where he is today.She helped him gain a sense of identity,she helped him learn what family is,and she helped him remember what humanity is.She is the reason for Ishmaels rehabilitation. Uncle Tom - Uncle tom also played a major role in Beah’s life.He provided the first home and family for Beah.He was always there for Beah when he needed to talk and gave beah a new reason to live.Uncle Tom helped Beah learn what it was like to be loved and to love family again. The Rebels -The rebels are the reason Ishmael loses his childhood so quickly.Their attack was the reason for Ishmaels life being changed for the worse.Beah completely despises the rebels.They are the cause for the main conflict of the story.The rebels are the main antagonist in the story and the reason so many people living in Sierra Leone are dead. Lieutenant Jabati -Lieutenant Jabati is important because he was the reason so many children lost their childhood so soon.That’s not even the worst of it.He also caused innocent children to become drug attic,heartless murderers,brainwashed and full of fear and anger,and caused them to have to to live with guilt for the crimes they have committed.Lieutenant Jabati tricked Ishmael into thinking he wanted revenge,but Lieutenant just wanted to use the boys as weapons. Laura Simms -Laura Simms played a huge part on Ishmael’s life by opening his eyes to how major child soldier slavery is around the world.During Beah’s trip he meets her and they form a close bond and she treats him like a son.Later when Ishmael is really in need of her she is there and willing to take him in.She becomes his adopted mother and gives him the chance to enjoy his childhood and have a life he should’ve always had the opportunity to have. Minor Characters Beah’s Family -Beah’s family is very important to him and the hope that they’re alive was what was the only thing that motivated Beach to stay alive in most of the beginning of the book(until the he found out they died).Beah’s family were his everything and when they died almost all of his hope was gone. Alhaji -This was one of Ishmael’s friends that was with him through almost everything.These two became like each others family after a while because they were there together through a lot like when they were trying to survive and hide from the rebels ,as soldiers,and through rehabilitation. Leslie - Leslie kind of took over after Esther had rehabilitated Ishmael enough to get put back into a home.Leslie was the reason Ishmael was able to reconnect with family that wanted and loved him. Mr.Kamara - Without Mr.Kamara,Ishmael wouldn't have been able to see how major child soldiers and war is all around the world.Mr.Kamara kinda was the start of Ishmael's motivation to take part in preventing children being used as weapons. Saidu -He is one of Ishmael's friends that died on their journey to get to safety.Him dying showed Ishmael how easy it was to just give up and die.He had been through so much,as in actually watching his family being tortured by rebels.I think He opened Ishmaels eyes and motivated Ishmael to not lose hope. Plot Setting - The setting changes through Ishmael’s whole journey,but the main setting is in Sierra Leone.The setting at the beginning of the book was just anywhere that was safest for the boys to survive.Then the setting turned into wherever the Lieutenant took the boys to fight.Then at the end the setting is in freetown for rehabilitation then in The UN for Ishmael to get away from war. Exposition -The story started with Ishmael and his friends just being innocent little boys enjoying their childhood.Then the rebels attacked and the boys and many other all had to flee their town to try to find safety and hopefully their families. Rising action - The rising action was when Ishmael and his second set of friends were given the opportunity to see their families again,but then they sadly find out that their families were killed by rebels.Then the boys end up in a village where they are provided supplies,but then they get recruited to be soldiers.Internally IShmael is terrified. Climax -The climax was when the boys were soldiers and became addicted to drugs,murders,and desperate for revenge.the boys were fooled into thinking that if they got revenge it would give justice to their families and innocent people dying.Now Ishmael is full of anger. Falling action -Then suddenly one day people from UNICEF came and took some of the boys.This organization then took the buys to get rehabilitated.Now Ismael is full of guilt.Although rehabilitation took time and was difficult it was still achievable.Ishmael was able to get put in a home with the family that he had left.This family was uncle tom and his wife and kids and they taught Ishmael what it was like to love and be loved again.Ishmael was then given the opportunity to visit a conference in the UN to talk about the things he’s been through as a child soldier and listen to others stories of the things they’ve been through. Resolution -During Ishmael's trip to the UN he learns that children are still being tricked or forced into being soldiers and are getting their childhood stolen from them.Ishmael meets new people and he also meets his future mother her.She inspires Ishmael to want to make a difference and stop children from being used as weapons and having their lives ruined. Now Ishmael is full of knowledge and motivation to do good and make a difference to prevent this terrible thing from happening to more innocent children and families. Conflict External and Internal conflict with Ishmael -At the beginning of the book Ishmael’s conflict is external and this conflict is that the rebels have separated him and his family and have ruined his chances at ever being able to return home.Then Ishmaels conflict becomes internal because his fear and anger becomes the main thing that keeps pushing him down(as in making him want to give up).Then later on it becomes a mix of Ishmael’s conflict being trying to be brave enough to be soldier and to try to kill without feeling anything and also the internal conflict that his scary thoughts might kill him because it starts physically affecting him to.The towards the end of the book his internal conflict is the guilt he has to live with for doing the things he did while being a child soldier even though the things he did were not his fault.And the external conflict was that it was difficult for him to rehabilitate because he had been brainwashed for so long. Central conflict-The central conflict was that Ishmael and many other children around the world are being used and forced into a lifestyle they don’t deserve and should never have to go through.The Main thing that has caused all of this is war.Because without war there would be no need to force children into being used as weapons and doing these violent things especially at such a young age.If it wasn’t for war then the rebels wouldn't of attacked in the first place.This is why it’s so good that Ishmael joined the group of people that are trying to make a difference in the world and are trying to save these poor innocent children and adults from having to experience war. How conflict affected Ishmael and other people touched by war -This conflict affected Ishmael and others involved in war if not by killing them then giving some that survived PTSD,and others just the horrific memory of the experiences they experienced during war.Even though some were lucky enough to get rehabilitated and got a chance to live a happy life away from war nothing can take back the things these people were forced to do and see and feel.These people will forever live with guilt for the things they have done even though they shouldn't feel guilty because they are victims too.I think that war in a kind of benefited some people because the people that were able to make it out now know what it feels like to have to go through the horrors and struggles that war creates,so they know first hand how it feels which motivates them even more to help make it come to and end. Themes Main central Theme -There are many themes expressed throughout the whole book,but I think the main central theme is “Innocence”.I think this is the theme because this is what the whole book is basically about.The loss of innocence and how we need to prevent it from happening.Throughout the whole book innocence for not only Ishmael,but all the other boys that have been touched by war,is lost little by little very quickly.First Ishmael loses his his innocent thoughts by seeing the horrific sight of a mother and her dead baby.Then Ishmael and his friends lose their innocence and feeling of content when they are constantly travelling trying to avoid death.Children are full of innocence and once they are brainwashed or forced into war their innocence disappears in a heartbeat and they will never get that innocence back.The book is just about how children’s innocence is stolen from them and replaced with the motive to kill.Ishmael knows how bad it hurts to know that himself and every other child soldier will never be able to be innocent and pure and unconcerned ev\ver again.This is what motivated Ishmael to want to prevent the loss of innocence in other children,because every child deserves be innocent for as long as they can be. Other themes Identity - Identity is also a major theme in the book because when Beah becomes a soldier he is brainwashed and he forgets what humanity is,he forgets how he used to think of life was,and most importantly he forgets who he is.The reason Ishmael forgets his self identity is because he gains new motives ever since being touched by war.These motives or goals were like to find his family,survive,become numb(physically and mentally),get revenge,kill,and much more.All of these things makes him forget who he is and what he wanted to do with his future,and his actual pure opinions and thoughts on things not something he was tricked into thinking. Manipulation -Manipulation was what caused and causes most children to become soldiers.From the time the Lieutenant talked to the boys to the time of rehabilitation Ishmael was manipulated into thinking that he needs to take revenge in order to have justice for all of the people that the rebels have killed.Because of this manipulation Beah carried guilt in his conscience for a really long time even though he was manipulated so it was not his fault for the things he was forced to do.Manipulation just turns Ishmael into a pathetic killing machine. Choices -All throughout the book Ishmael has to make choices in order to survive.Even if Ishmael doesn't like the choices he is making he still makes them because he is determined to survive for various reasons throughout the book.His choices determine whether he survives or dies and sometimes he is fooled into making a choice. Motivation-Ishmaels Motives change several times throughout the book.Most of his motives are to survive.He needed motivation to survive or else he would just give up and die.At the beginning of the book his motive was to avoid any encounters with rebels and to survive.Then he was motivated to find his family.Then once he found out his family was dead and he was recruited to be a soldier his motive became to get revenge and avenge his family’s deaths.The his motive at the end of the book was to get away from war.Then his very last motive was to help prevent any other child from having to ever experience or be touched by war. What do I think about the book? I think this was a really great book it was like eating hot cheetos,you can’t get enough so you keep eating more.Except in the book you can’t get enough so you keep reading more.There was not one point in the book where I lost interest.This really opened my eyes and allowed me to really learn how an actual child soldier feels and their experiences with war.This book has made me feel a mix of sad,angry,and inspired.Even after reading this book I still cannot believe that children have and still are going through things like this.It just absolutely breaks my heart knowing this.

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  4. 5 out of 5

    Perry Aycock

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    Sophia Buttercupz

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    Jeremiah Graham

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    Clark Burnap

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    Sanskruti Dev

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    Wyatt Weems

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    Laura Naso

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    Maya Ruiz

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    Thelma Rodrigues

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    Mariann Stofmeel

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    Thandi Conradie

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    Klng Jay

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    Philomena gannon

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    Mae Mo

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    Rogina Williams

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    Neveah Munroe

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    Maame Akosua

  38. 5 out of 5

    David Hilbish

  39. 4 out of 5


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