Study Guide: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah: Book Summary

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1. When war reaches their village, Ishmael is

a.) traveling to the next village.
b.) terribly wounded.
c.) Taken prisoner by the RUF.

2. At the beginning, Ishmael is only

a.) twelve years old.
b.) ten years old.
c.) eleven years old.

3. When they go back to Mattru Jong, a van appears

a.)filled with rebel soldiers.
b.)filled with soldiers.
c.)filled with a wounded man and the bodies of his family.

4. The boys leave Mattru Jong when

a.)they find their families.
b.)the rebels arrive and massacre everyone.
c.)they realize the rebels are coming

5. Being branded by the RUF hurts anyone forced to get one, because

a.)it's a sign of life as a soldier
b.)it taints the bearer ever after
c.)it makes the rebels refuse to allow them to leave their army.

6. Whenever the boys come to a strange village, they are attacked, because

a.)they're carrying guns.
b.)the village fears they're RUF
c.)they make threats out of their own fear.

7. Saidu dies when

a.)he is frightened by yet another attack.
b.)he is shot in a firefight
c.)he is made an example by the rebels

8. Just as Ishmael starts down the hill to find his family

a.)he hears his name called by his mother
b.)he hears his brother Junior playing rap music.
c.)he hears gunshots and screaming

9. The boys are forced to be soldiers when

a.)they try to run away from the lieutenant.
b.)one village sells them as protection from the rebels.
c.)they are trapped in a village where all boys and men are drafted by force.

10. The youngest boys in Ishmael’s squad are so small that

a.)they can't pick up their rifles
b.)they can't see when the fighting starts.
c.)are both killed in the first fight

11. Ishmael escapes being a soldier when

a.)UNICEF staffers take him away.
b.)his Uncle Tommy finds him.
c.)the rebels sell him as a servant

12. Ishmael is taken to

a.)Washington D.C.
b.)Benin House.
c.)Mattru Jong.

13. Esther wins Ishmael over with

a.) magazines he likes and Coca-Cola.
b.)rap music and a cassette player.
c.)several books about and by Shakespeare.

14. Ishmael is chosen to attend a UN conference, because

a.)he knows so much about being a child soldier.
b.)Esther is a good reference for him.
c.)his uncle knows someone at the embassy.

15. Ishmael decides to leave Sierra Leone, because

a.)now war has come to Freetown.
b.)he can't find a job.
c.)he fears he’ll be returned to the rebels.

Answer Key:

1.) a 2.) b 3.) c 4.) b 5.) b 6.) b 7.) a 8.) c 9.) c 10.) a 11.) a 12.) b 13.) b 14.) a 15.) a

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