Ishmael Beah tells his harrowing story in straight-forward, direct language. More incredible than the story itself is his ability to write it at all. As a 13 year old child soldier "recruited" by the Sierra Leonean Army, he participates in horrific violence. His physical survival is perhaps a matter of luck, but the survival of a spark of sensitivity and gentleness is a testament to the resilience of children in almost any situation.
My one complaint about the matter-of-fact writing is that it made me as a reader feel divorced from the action, and Beah's emotion - which he reports on, but is not quite felt in the writing. I can see how this might be the only way he can go back to these events at all - living through them once is more than enough. My issue is a very small one and, on the whole, I found the book very affecting.