Monday, March 5, 2012

Recommended Read: Ishmael Beah's A long way gone

Every now and then, in discussions with students or other teachers, I'll stumble across a book that I haven't read, but am interested in. When I finally get my hands on the book, read it, and enjoy it, I can't help but feel like I should climb to the top of a mountain and shout how awesome that work was. I don't have a mountain; I do have a blog. Here's a Recommended Read for no extra credit other than your life.

I've always been really interested in Africa. Maybe it was The Lion King or some National Geographic documentary I watched when I was a child, or maybe it was the foreign-ness of it, but for whatever reason, Africa has always really intrigued me. That's one of the reasons I decided to take a year off from college in 2005 to go to Kenya and be an assistant dean. It was a life-changing experience that ended up with me becoming a teacher, and ultimately, sitting here in my office in TAPA, where I write this post right now. And even though I haven't been back since I left in May of 2006, I've always felt like I left a little of my heart there.

The first time I'd heard of Ishmael Beah's story, I was living in Nebraska, watching the Daily Show, when my mind was blown by the life of this amazing kid. Check this out:

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Ishmael Beah
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

This might be one of the only serious interview I've ever seen Jon Stewart do, and that did it for me. I went to the bookstore, bought A long way gone, and devoured it in no time flat. I don't know how many times I was nearly pushed to tears. It's been 5 years since I read it, but I can't forget the feeling I had towards this book. I'd heartily recommend you try to get a hold of a copy!

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