Monday, September 04, 2006

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

This is a difficult book to recommend in the usual sense, but one that I feel every teenager in America should read today. The narrator, Agu, is a child in an unnamed West African nation when war comes to town. He is separated from his family and taken into the "army", and before he can even comprehend what is happening to him, he is committing atrocities that almost completely erase his memories of his happy life with his family. The joy of this novel is in the narrative voice that Iweala ingeniously crafts to pull the reader into the innocence of Agu's mind. I read this book in one sitting and nearly wept many times. It is a must-read.