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Discuss "A Long Way Gone" at the Decorah Public Library

When Aug 14, 2008
from 06:30 PM to 07:30 PM
Where Mezzanine Gallery
Contact Name
Contact Phone 563-382-3717
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The Decorah Public Library will hold a book discussion of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah on Thursday, August 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Mezzanine Gallery.

No registration is required for the discussion.  Copies of the book will be available for checkout at the front desk on a first come, first served basis.  Participants wishing to purchase a copy can contact a local bookseller. 

Spending his early childhood in a small village in Sierra Leone, Beah happily spends time with his family and friends, recites Shakespeare, and listens to hip-hop music.  All that changes when he is twelve and rebel forces invade his village.  Beah becomes a refugee, traveling through the countryside and trying to evade the rebels.  He encounters the national army in one of the villages and is quickly recruited.  From that time until he is sixteen years old, Beah spends his days and nights immersed in a drug-filled and violent world.  Eventually, he is taken to a rehabilitation facility sponsored by UNICEF and begins the long process of recovery.  With the help of the staff at the facility, he learns to trust others again and to forgive himself. 

In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly (December 18, 2006) notes that Beah's story is "told in clear, accessible language by a young writer with a gifted literary voice...this memoir seems destined to become a classic firsthand account of war and the ongoing plight of child soldiers in conflicts worldwide."

Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980.  He lived there until 1998, and then he moved to the United States.  After graduating from Oberlin College in 2004, he spoke before the Council on Foreign Relations and several other NGO panels on children affected by war.  A member of the Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Division Advisory Committee, he has spoken before the United Nations and has had his work published in LIT magazine and VespertinePress.

Contact Christina at the Decorah Public Library, 382-3717 for more information.

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