10th grade summer reading assignment




    A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah


    Ishmael Beah’s memoir details his experience as a refugee after rebel groups attacked his village in Sierra Leone.   The book is a riveting account of his struggle to survive the civil, find his family, and reclaim his life. Be prepared to discuss, take a test, and write about the book when we return. As you read, consider important quotations, themes, the author’s choices and intent, point of view, the organization of events, the introduction and the ending, tone, vocabulary, characterization, setting, plot, conflict and symbolism.  If you are unsure how to pace yourself, consider using the following deadlines:

    -          By the end of June, read chapters 1-7

    -          By mid July, read chapters 8-14

    -          By mid August, read chapters 15-21

    -          By the end of August, review the book


    The links below offer guided reading questions to help maintain your focus if needed and other interesting background information.  If you have any questions, email your teacher at martex@hasdhawks.org. nictru@hasdhawks.org or courbur@hasdhawks.org.   Enjoy your reading.




    Interviews with Ishmael Beah about writing the book and his experience as a child soldier: http://www.alongwaygone.com/


    Study questions by chapter: http://alongwaygone.com/media/ALongWayGone_TeachersGuide.pdf


    A general introduction to Sierra Leone and the civil war: http://www.globalissues.org/article/88/sierra-leone


    Learn about conflict diamonds, also called blood diamonds: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/05/world/africa/conflict-diamonds-explainer/


    *For a FREE audio version of the book, go here:  






    DO NOT:

    -          Read the entire book.

    -          Look up unfamiliar vocabulary words as you read.

    -          Reread portions of the book that you don’t understand.

    -          Develop independent and insightful evaluations of the text.

    -          Take notes as you read.

    -          Review the book before school starts.

    -          Do not give up on your reading; push through the difficult parts.

    -          Do not use outside sources such as summaries or films as a substitution for the text.