Study Guide

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Chapter 7

By Ishmael Beah

Chapter 7

  • The rebels attack Kamator one night during prayers at the mosque.
  • One by one the people flee, but the imam stays. The rebels capture him and demand to know which way the villagers have run.
  • When the imam refuses to tell them, they burn him alive.
  • Ishmael is outside the house when the attack happens, but his brother's inside. Everything happens so suddenly that Ishmael has to run by himself into the bush to hide.
  • There, he comes across Kaloko. The two boys have no idea what happened to the others from their group. The next morning, they see that the village has been destroyed. No one is there anymore.
  • Ishmael and Kaloko come across a family hiding in the bush and they stay there with them for two weeks.
  • Eventually, Ishmael starts to get fed up with just sitting there every single day waiting to die. He keeps thinking about his family and wishing they were together again.
  • He decides to leave the bush. Kaloko and the family living there won't join him. They'd rather stay put and take their chance.
  • Ishmael figures that he'd rather be trying to do something to stay alive than sitting and doing nothing and maybe dying.
  • Ishmael walks for five days and doesn't see a single person. He lives by finding fruit and food in various abandoned villages.
  • On day six, he comes across a family swimming in a river. When Ishmael tries to talk to them, it's clear they are totally freaked out and don't trust him.
  • He thinks about how the war has ruined people's relationships with one another—no one can trust a stranger. Not even a 12-year-old boy.

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