Study Guide

Laura Simms in A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

By Ishmael Beah

Laura Simms

Laura Simms is a storyteller that Ishmael meets while travelling to New York City to give his speech in front of the United Nations. She eventually becomes his adoptive mom when he flees Sierra Leone and comes to live with her in the United States. She sends him him money after he goes back to Africa, and she says yes immediately when he asks if he can live with her. She's a creative and compassionate person.

That same morning Laura kept looking at Bah and me. I didn't know that she had noticed that we were wearing only our light African shirts and pants and sat closer to the radiators, our hands wrapped around our tiny bodies, and every now and then shaking from the cold that seems to have settled in our bones. In the afternoon before lunch, she approached us. "Do you have winter jackets?" she asked. We shook our heads. A painful concern passed over her face, making her smile look forced. That evening she returned with winter jackets, hats, and gloves for us. (20.15)

Since her specialty is telling stories and Ishmael definitely has a story to tell, we're gonna go ahead and say their mother-son bond is the perfect match.