Former child soldier to speak at library

Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone and now a human rights activist, will be at the Ridgefield Library on Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m. to discuss his book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.

In the book, Mr. Beah tells how, at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By 13, he’d been picked up by the government army, and at heart a gentle boy, he found that he was capable of terrible acts. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to re-enter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion.

Ishmael Beah is now a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations and the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in New York City.

Copies of  A Long Way Gone will be available for sale and signing, thanks to Books on the Common. Registration is recommended at or 203-438-2282.

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