Presentation on theme: "By: Brandon Burger. The Book The book is about the struggles of a child’s life as he was raised in Sierra Leone, Africa during the worst times of the."— Presentation transcript:
By: Brandon Burger
The Book The book is about the struggles of a child’s life as he was raised in Sierra Leone, Africa during the worst times of the civil war that continues to devastate the country.
Background on Sierra Leone Due to neglective government, and mishandling of diamond exportation, civil war raged in Sierra Leone from 1991 until 2002. Although lasting affects are still being felt by many living in the country.
Background cont… Those who opposed the government and its newly found one-party ruling set into act by president Momoh created what they called the United Revolutionary Front or R.U.F as victims of their raids would come to remember. The R.U.F would create forces that were made of their own, and then they forced men, boys, and even children of places they overtook to fight with them too. Often killing their own people because the alternative was them being killed.
Statistics of Sierra Leone Civil War raged on for over eleven years in the area. Between 1991-1996 alone there were around 15,000 deaths By 1999, there was said to be 50,000 deaths caused by the R.U.F. and their war. Over 2.5 million Africans were displaced from either missing, killed, or on the run from rebel forces. That accounts for nearly half the population of the country
Author Background Ishmael Beah wrote this story based on his own personal recollections from his own childhood. He narrates the story as the young boy in the book.
Author Background He was born in Mattru Jong on November 23, 1980 His family was slaughtered by the rebel forces while his brothers, friends, and he were away auditioning for a talent show At age 12, he came across a village of Yele that was held by Sierra Leone government officials who recruited him to fight for them He became addicted to the fighting because he saw every rebel he faced as the one who killed his family and he became dependent almost on killing every rebel he saw He was relieved by UNICEF officials in 1996, and from there he went to New York City
The Cast There really wasn’t much of a cast to this story as it is a memoir of his recollections along the way, not really a story told that shows dialogue with other characters The main character is of course Ishmael himself He is accompanied by his older brother and some friends from the village
The Cast He ends up getting split up with his brother and friends during an R.U.F. attack and joins with a group of friends from Mogbwemo, a neighboring village His uncle comes into the picture later, who took him to Freetown to live with him, he would later also be killed by rebel attacks He is associated with Sierra Leone government troops while he fought with them Then he is helped to a better life because of Nurse Esther from a rehibilitation center for children who fought
The Story The story begins in January 1993, when Ishmael and his group are heading to a neighboring town for a talent show, little did they know this would be the last time they call Mattru Jong home. While they were away, R.U.F. forces swept through and devastated the village leaving their families dead. This would start the most difficult journey, and life changing experience.
An R.U.F. attack
Plot cont… The boys start a long process of being on the run from rebel forces alone in the vast jungles of Sierra Leone. They have to escape fear, starvation, rebel forces, and their own insanity at times
Plot… The boys go from village to village trying to find safety and food. Constantly hiding from nearby R.U.F.
Plot… After one rebel raid Ishmael is seperated from his brother and friends, and is all alone with no family, no food, all his has left is fear. He goes into hiding for a few weeks amongst the jungle just trying to stay alive.
Entering the Army Ishmael finally comes across peaceful people after weeks of hiding, and finds them to be old friends from Mogbwemo, he decides to join with them Along their travels, they are found by a Sierra Leone government official who brings them back to a village they occupy called Yele.
A whole new lifestyle When the boys came back to the village, they soon became forced to join the army because rebel groups had surrounded them Ishmael became a whole new person when he became a soldier. Only a boy of twelve years old, was now a killing machine who was out in vengeance of his family. He would become addicted to not only violence but drugs given to him by soldiers to keep him fighting
Life after war In 1996, UNICEF relieved Ishmael of his military service he was undertaking A boy now still only 15 years old, was then sent to soldier rehabilitation He was very disturbed by his 3 years in the war, experiencing drug withdrawal and troubled by memories of the violence he saw since he was on the run.
Escaping from it all A nurse by the name of Laura Esther would take interest to Ishmael while in rehabilitation and make efforts to get him out of this war zone. He would later be adopted by an Uncle from Freetown who would take him there.
Moving on Ishmael would go to New York City to talk about his time as a soldier in Sierra Leone He came back to Freetown later, to find it destroyed by rebels and the death of yet another family member, his Uncle He would then contact Laura who would help him escape Sierra Leone to Guinea. From there he fled to America where he would stay, and remains here today
My Review I found this book to be very similar to the movie Blood Diamond. It was almost a direct replica from book to movie it seemed like to me. The book is so powerful and just sheds light on so much devastation in Sierra Leone that before the book and movie I knew nothing about. I find it alarming that 50,000 people are slaughtered by R.U.F. and 2.5 million Africans are displaced and no one here knows about it. The book does an amazing job of expressing so much emotion of just the helplessness that Ishmael and I am sure most people in his situation felt. The book is absolutely packed with astonishing events from start to finish.
Works Cited http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Leone http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/worl d/war/sierra_leone.htm http://www.alongwaygone.com/