Showing posts with the label Sierra Leone

Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Schools in Sierra Leone reopened today, having been closed since the Ebola outbreak in July. According to an  NPR report , "more than one-third of the 10,000+ deaths have been in Sierra Leone." When this year's harsh winter closed schools for several days in a row, some parents joked about how grueling it was to be trapped at home with stir-crazy children. Very few of us reading this blog can imagine what it's like to experience nine months of closed schools, especially amid a health crisis claiming thousands of lives. Not that long ago, in 1991, Sierra Leone faced another horrifying crisis: civil war. A month ago, I had the opportunity to listen to a survivor of that war. Ishmael Beah, author of  A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier , was forced to become a soldier in Sierra Leone at the age of thirteen. Photo courtesy of Brookfield Academy Ishmael visited my children's school, where his book is required reading for the ninth graders. Students, t