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Ishmael Beah, author of "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," spoke at Lakeland College on March 31, 2015 for the second annual Lakeland College Community Book Read.

ishmael BeahIshmael BeahBeah spoke about his life as a child soldier in Sierra Leone and read excerpts from both his memoir, "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," and his recently published novel, "Radiance of Tomorrow."

Beah was born in Sierra Leone and at age 13 was pulled into the country's brutal civil war as a child soldier. After his parents and two brothers were killed, he fought for more than two years before he was removed from the army by UNICEF and placed in a rehabilitation home.

"A Long Way Gone" was a No. 1 National Bestseller and was named one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2007 by Time Magazine. The memoir tells the story of Beah's experiences during the war and his struggle to regain his humanity and re-enter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion.

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