Ishmael Beah was constantly asked about his years living in Sierra Leone during the revolutionary war as a young child. His town use to be quiet, and war stories were only heard when family walked from miles away with the stories, and even those were thought to be exaggerated. It was until Ishmael was 12 when he knew the stories were all too true, when the rebels came to his town the January of 1993.
Ishmael, his older brother, and their two younger friends were having a normal beautiful summer day as they decided to walk to the town of Matru Jong so they could see a talent show. The walk to near towns never seemed long because the boys would be rapping to foreign songs they had heard on the television earlier in the week. Wearing many layers of clothing and extra clothes in their packs to pull of the foreign rap star look, they had no idea they would be to their advantage.
During just the first morning in the town of Mattru Jong, students from the schools run home early saying that teachers heard news about the rebels Mogwemo, their home. During the attack people ran in all directions in fear of losing their life's. The boys had no idea where their lives would lead after waiting for three hours straight for their family members to arrive, but none of the faces showing up into the town were familiar. The four boys had decided to start heading back to their old town to try to find any family member they could, but on their way they were constantly reminded of what had happened back in their town. With passing severely wounded adults and children, and corpses on their way, they decided it was best to stay in a much safer town.
After one week soldiers came to the town they were staying in to protect the innocent towns people, and things were beginning to go back to normal. Spending his days cleaning up abandoned cities, Ishmael saw many things he shouldn't have at only the age of 12. He began having many bad dreams of rebels capturing him and turning him into a revolutionary United Front member, which was usually shown by having all of your fingers cut off, and R.U.F. burned onto your skin.
After the villagers had hid for 17 days, there was no activity at all. Then the rebels and arrived out of no where firing shots into the sky at first as warnings, but the shots son turned into an open target shooting range for anything and anyone that was alive. With one escape out of town, the lucky ones that weren't targeted by the rebels were running frantically to the route out. All of the four boys had made it to the escape route in the town, but they were quickly followed by a few rebels with guns. The four of them had to slowly crawl across a clearing to not be seen by the gunman, and at one point they even had to lay still among the dead bodies so they weren't seen.
When I started out reading this book I wasn't really sure how gory this memoir would actually be. Although I knew it was about a young boys bad war experience, I wasn't exactly prepared to read about dozens of dead bodies. Throughout these chapters I was mainly just shocked, and in suspense during the description of the rebels coming to town.