Ishmael Beah has written a memoir about his years as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. Orphaned by the civil war there, he was carrying an AK-47 by the age of 12. Pumped up by drugs, he was forced to kill or be killed.
When he was 15, UNICEF took Beah to a rehabilitation center. He was eventually adopted by an American woman and brought to the United States, where he attended high school and graduated from Oberlin College.
His book is A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.