Title: Beasts of No Nation
Author: Uzodinma Iweala
This is the story of a young West African boy named Agu who is forced to become a soldier when his country is torn apart by war. It's a heartbreaking and powerful account of a child soldier who once loved going to school and reading the Bible and who now must kill...and kill again. I couldn't put it down. Here's a taste of this unforgettable novel:
"So we were playing all this game then and thinking that to be a soldier was to be the best thing in the world because gun is looking so powerful and the men in movie are looking so powerful and strong when they are killing people, but I am knowing now that to be a soldier is only to be weak and not strong, and to have no food to eat and not to eat whatever you want, and also to have people making you do thing that you are not wanting to do and not to be doing whatever you are wanting which is what they are doing in movie. But I m only knowing this now because I am soldier now."
"All we are knowing is that, before the war we are children and now we are not."
"Time is passing. Time is not passing. Day is changing to night. Night is changing to day. How can I know what is happening? It is like one day everything is somehow okay even if we are fighting war, but the next day we are killing killing and looting from everybody. How can I know what is happening to me? How can I know?"This is a tough read: haunting and sad and mesmerizing all at the same time. Iweala does a masterful job of portraying the brutality of war along with the hopes and fears, enthusiasm, confusion, horror and guilt of those who fight in it. And all I can say is, "Wow." I'm glad I found this one on the I shelf.