How does Ishmael Beah use A Long Way Gone to treat important contemporary issues in a way that challenges the reader?  Please provide examples from the text :)

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many people are ignorant to the fact that children are still used in gruesome manners that have been long outlawed in other countries.  Children who are forced in labor, used as slaves, and driven to participate as soldiers in war live a harsh reality unknown to other children around the world.  In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah details his experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone so that the reading audience is aware that this is a reality for many around the world.  Beah uses straightforward language and diction to detail the destruction of his home village, his flight through the jungle with his friends, his conscription into the national army, and his rehabilitation so that the reader can make a judgement on the nature of the situation.  Beah does not spare himself, and remains honest about the many times that he killed others and about his drug addiction.  Beah eventually leaves Sierra Leone to go live with Laura Simms in New York, and he reveals that he now works for several NGO's who are working to end the use of child soldiers.  The book challenges the reader to take action whether that is actually getting involved in the fight against the use of child soldiers or simply informing others about the situation.

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A Long Way Gone

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