Ishmael Beah is the author of A Long Way Gone, a rare and riveting first person account of his experiences as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. Born in 1980, Beah was pressed into the government army at age 13 after a year of wandering homeless in a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. Eventually released and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he moved to the U.S. in 1998, completed his last two years of high school at the United Nations International School in New York, and went on to graduate with a B.A. in political science from Oberlin College. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO) at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, and many other NGO panels on children affected by war. His work has appeared in Vespertine Press and LIT magazine. He lives in New York City.