Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

This book is heartbreaking and definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s about a child soldier somewhere in Africa during one of their several civil wars and it’s gutwrenching. Definitely not for the faint of heart but I really think it’s an important read. The protagonist, Agu, is forced to be a child soldier after his village is rampaged and his family is murdered in front of him. And as many children or teens in similar situations, he is kidnapped by rebel troops as part of the resistance to help fight in a war nobody really knows what it’s for. Agu soon becomes close with the commander of his platoon, which is soon a relationship in which the latter party takes advantage of. And the story follows his journey from loving child to soldier to somebody in recovery trying to navigate the confusion of tragedy and war.

Beasts of No Nation is an inside look of a trend around the world the western world seems to want to get rid of but I have a feeling we don’t really know what these children really go through. We hear about these tragedies, send our thoughts and prayers, and hope that something can or will be done. Which is why I think inside looks like these are so intricately difficult but needed because it makes it more real.

Though we don’t know what war the protagonist is fighting in or what country he’s supposedly fighting to restore, I  honestly believe it’s important that we don’t turn a blind eye to the evil in the world. Because literature always gives us a certain sense of hope, which this book definitely helps hold onto. and though it is just a book, it serves as a certain light of what it means to be a child soldier in a war you don’t really understand. And it also sheds a light on the side effects of not only being rescued but of what it means to heal.

Beasts of No Nation is also apparently a movie that I need to watch and it’s supposed to be fantastic. When I have a day where I can snuggle with a stuffed animal, a big bowl of ice cream, and a blanket, maybe I’ll watch it. BUt it’ll definitely have to be day time out because if it’s anything like the book, I’ll need some time to recoop.

Though the book is a rollercoaster, it’s a great reminder that there are people going through terrible things in the world and if we’re lucky enough to hear their stories, the best thing we can often do is listen without judgement. Because after all, though this book may be a work of fiction, i have a feeling it’s all too real for several people around the world. And I’m always an advocate for learning through reading, even if the book breaks your heart a little.

So read this book. But follow it with some serious self care and a good, happy movie. You’ll be a better person for it. Maybe a little jaded but still optimistic that there is good in the world somewhere. Sometimes, we just need to look a little harder and need a good reminder.

Favourite Quote: We are leaving him and I am fearing because I am seeing that the only way not to be fighting is to die. I am not wanting to die. 




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