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Ishmael Beah's 'Memoirs of a Boy Soldier'

Former child soldier Ishmael Beah smiles at a signing of his new book on Feb. 16, 2007 in New York City. Beah is currently on an 15-city book tour to talk about his first-hand account of fighting as a boy in war-torn Sierra Leone.
Mario Tama
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Former child soldier Ishmael Beah smiles at a signing of his new book on Feb. 16, 2007 in New York City. Beah is currently on an 15-city book tour to talk about his first-hand account of fighting as a boy in war-torn Sierra Leone.

Ishmael Beah has written a memoir about his years as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. Orphaned by the civil war there, he was carrying an AK-47 by the age of 12. Pumped up by drugs, he was forced to kill or be killed.

When he was 15, UNICEF took Beah to a rehabilitation center. He was eventually adopted by an American woman and brought to the United States, where he attended high school and graduated from Oberlin College.

His book is A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.

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