Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Journal 6 A Long Way Gone Caitlin Williams

    The character that meant the most to me in the book was Laura. Where would Ishmael be now without her? She saved him. I don't know where he is now or what he has been doing since he got to America but he is not in Sierra Leone. She is his new mother. Without the money she sent him how would he have escaped? He wouldn't have.

    Ishmaels rehabilitation is possible. It seems to be very difficult but possible. His friend Mambu rejoined the front lines when he had no where to go. I think I would want Ishmael to live in my neighborhood. He has insane survival skills and even when the war broke out again and his uncle died he still stayed strong and didn't lash out.

    The lesson I want to remember is that if I believe I can, I will. Ishmael believed he could contain himself when the war came to Freetown and he did. He never lost sight of who he wanted to be which was not to be a soldier. Ishmael writes in the book, "This was becoming too familiar. I stopped next to a utility pole for a bit, exhaled heavily, and threw some angry punches in the air. I have to try to get it out, I thought, and if it doesn't work then it is back to the army. I didn't like thinking like that." (Beah 209)

    The book leaves me wanting to know more about Ishmael's new mom, Laura. I want to know where Ishmael ended up and how he doing today. I wonder about Mohamed and if he survived too. I found an interview with Ishmael and Laura and in that interview she states, "His appreciation for me, his growing trust, really introduced me to a trust i my own goodness, which was a great gift. There's this deep connection between us that is unexplainable. It began a conversation, which still goes on today. We learn from each other the importance of storytelling-the importance of speaking one's truth." I didn't find much on him growing up with Laura or anything really along those lines but I do know they are still together as a family and they are happy about this.
Ishmael and Laura today. 


  1. That's exactly what he left me wanting to know also.

  2. With your last paragraph, I felt the same way with so many unanswered questions. Ishmael could have easily rubbed Laura the wrong way in which she did not have to do any of the kind things she helped him with. I wonder how long Ishmael stayed with her, or how she was able to help him start his life here in the USA along with UNICEF.


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