This book is destined to be regarded as a classic. Village life in this unnamed West African country is disrupted when news comes of war. People who can, flee. Some remain, men willing to fight mostly. Unfortunately this includes young boys who are strong enough to hold a weapon. Our narrator is one. He is a bright boy, an eager and exceptional student who loves his time at school. His father is either killed or driven off and the boy is terrified into joining the roving militia that comes through raping and killing. His tale is a very intimate portrait of life in this band of cruel leaders and lost boys. He loses innocence in many different ways, none by his own volition. It is a very hard-hitting picture, told in a child’s tongue. I have seen no other attempt to portray the horror of such military life as told by one of the young people who make up so much of the fighting forces in Africa. It is enough to summon tears. I was reminded of Call it Sleep, another classic of a hard life seen through the eyes of a child. I expect this novel will join that in the shelves of ageless literature.