Ishmael Bea, as a young child, gets dragged into the war in Sierra Leone. He has nothing to do with it, and he wants nothing with it either. He attempts to escape the war and goes on a journey along the way. He shares his experience on the battlefield when he eventually becomes a child soldier.
The book incorporates in-the-moment action and a series of events, and also a reflection of the journey of young Ishmael by the post-war Ishmael. It is also interesting to see the development of Ishmael and his perspectives of the world, especially how the war affects him in the moment and the future. For instance, his perspective of death changes quite significantly throughout the book. Beginning with him as an innocent child, the concept of the death of others was quite unfamiliar and upsetting to him. In the war he kills others, initially being shocked by such an act, but then becoming accustomed to it. After his years of being a soldier, he would become a soldier again, and his perspective of death changes again to one similar to his childhood self. Many more themes to consider and think about in one’s own life. Recommended for teens, although discretion is advised for some gruesome content is present in the narrative of this work. Five out of Five.