A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (♦♦♦♦)

Great book, horrible, but great; pick it up if you can, I strongly recommend it. If you "enjoyed" (and I use this term loosely) the movies Hotel Rwanda and Blood Diamond, then you'll definitely will appreciate this candid story, which as it happens, it's the biography of a former child soldier.

Ismael Beah was born and bred in a small village in Sierra Leone until war and death snaked their way into his life when he was only 12 years of age forcing him to take an active part as a child soldier in his country’s Civil War. For several years, using a cocktail of drugs and heavy artillery, he was forced along others to pillage country villages and kill in the most savage fashion, until he was rescued by a United Nations contingent at the age of 15. His recovery started first in a small hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, followed by a new opportunity to live normally with his newfound family. However, the political forces running the country threatened the fragile peace, and Beah had to make the decision to leave his family and country for good.