Study Guide

Sheku & Josiah in A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

By Ishmael Beah

Sheku & Josiah

Sheku and Josiah are two seven-year-old little boys who are recruited to fight in the army of Sierra Leone along with Ishmael. They're clearly afraid, but they try their hardest to fight even though they're too little to even hold up their AK-47s. Mainly because they're seven. They both look up to Ishmael as a big brother type figure and, it's when Ishmael sees Josiah die in battle that he's enraged enough to start killing others. Both boys illustrate the tragedy of child soldiers and the way that war steals not only the innocence, but the lives of so many children.