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Book Reviews 5

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Publisher: Harper Perennial

I remember being in primary school and getting repeatedly guilt tripped by the nuns for not eating my lunch, told to "think about those poor starving children in Biafra".

I was too young to really understand what that was really about or even where Biafra was. Adichie is a brilliant writer. I was blown away by the first book I read of hers, Purple Hibiscus. So when I came across Half of a Yellow Sun I was pretty sure it would not disappoint.

Adichie's fictional account of the war told through the eyes of two sisters from a priveleged background brings the horror of this period in Nigeria's history to life. I'm closer to getting what it was about now.

Book Cover, Half of a Yellow Sun

A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah, Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The moving true story of a child's experience of the war in Sierra Leone.

Separated from his family Beah and a band of friends flee to the forest to escape the war, witnessing much sickening brutality along their journey. It's not long before their luck runs out and they're recruited as child soldiers and it's not long before they're forced to take part in the killings.

Eventually picked up by UNICEF Beah and his few surviving friends are rehabilitated. His story provides a remarkable insight into the the war in Sierra Leone and its devastatingly traumatic effects on the children forcibly recruited to fight it.

Book Cover, a long way gone, memoirs of a boy soldier

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