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

ishmael BeahIshmael BeahThe event, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Lakeland's Bradley Theatre, is free and open to the public. Beah will speak about his life as a child soldier in Sierra Leone and read some excerpts from both his memoir and his recently published novel, "Radiance of Tomorrow."

Following the keynote, Beah will answer questions from the audience. All guests are encouraged to read "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" prior to the event.

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.

For more information about the panel discussion or the Community Book Read, contact Gina Covelli, Lakeland College community relations manager, at or 920-565-1028 ext. 2232.


Check out photos and video from last year's inaugural Community Book Read with author Chad Harbach.

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