Lisa Sims
Chapter Seven
Level 2 Questions:
1. Ishmael references how the seperation of his parents negatively influenced the lives of him and his brother. How might the loss of his brother affect the rest of his journey?
2. At this point in the novel (age 12) is Ishmael mature enough to be making this journey alone? Why or why not?

Level 3 Questions:
1. What affect is Ishmael's experiences having on his still developing maturity? (i.e. positive or negative)
2. Does lack of human contact have any affect on Ishmael's personality or behavior? Give examples.
3. Does having to grow up earlier than many youth, whether it be taking care of your family at an early age or witnessing unspeakable tragedy as Ishmael has, affect the adult one becomes? How so or why not?

Chapter Eight
Level 2 Questions:
1. In what ways, if any, is Ishmael like a normal child his age?
2. How does Ishmael's memories help him on his journey?

Level 3 Questions
1. Do children have any chance of survival in a place where children are held to the same standards as adults?
2. When the people run from the seven boys and the boys run after them trying to reassure them of their innocence, do they really think the people will listen?
3. On his journey thus far, Ishmael has been faced with many adult situations. He is only 12. Would an adult handle any situation differently than Ishmael has?

Chapter Nine
Level 2 Questions:
1. Ishmael has another encounter with a village and its chief where he is tied up and "on trial". How did Ishmael's behavior change during this encounter?
2. Many people have shown Ishmael compassion on his journey thus far. Is this because he is a child, or because it is morally right?

Level 3 Questions:
1. Ishmael seems to be drawn to groups. Initially it was his brother and friends; now it is acquaintances and strangers. Does Ishmael find nurture in groups?
2. Was the one moment of salvation on the beach a positive moment that Ishmael needed to continue his long journey, or a negative thing that only gave him false hope and ultimately caused him great pain?
3. How does Ishmael feel about death?

Nathanael Shermett


Chapter 20
  • Level 3
    • Does Ishmael’s former assumptions of New York, and inability to properly function when he visited, hint at immaturity, or simply an absence of education?
    • In New York, Ishmael continually calls uncle. However, when he was in the army, he would not even consider calling people to let them know how he is. Does this change of character indicate a newfound maturity, or a lack thereof?
    • At the end of chapter 20, Ishmael Beah writes “… because if I was to get killed upon my return, I knew that a memory of my existence was alive somewhere in the world” (Beah 200). Does this indicate maturity? Weakness? Both?
  • Level 2
    • Why does Beah decide so early on to attend Laura’s seminar?
    • Why does Beah phone is uncle?

Chapter 21
  • Level 3
    • Ishmael is horribly saddened when his uncle dies. This is the first time he has really cared about death in a LONG time. What does it show about his maturity?
    • Ishmael leaves his family after his uncle dies. What does this show about how he has grown?
    • Ishmael does everything he can to avoid joining the army again. What does this show about his development throughout his life?
  • Level 2
    • Why does Ishmael Beah leave his family?
    • Why does Ishmael Beah choose to shoot the monkey at the end of the book?

Chapter 10
  • Level 3
    1. How does the childish storytelling of Bra Spider represent the still-childish natures of Ishmael and his friends, despite their growing maturity?
    2. In what ways have seeing their families be torn apart by the rebels matured Ishmael and his friends? How has it not?
    3. Saidu is the quietest, and in many ways wisest—as portrayed by his comments about life—child in the group Ishmael is traveling with. When we learn that his sisters were raped and kidnapped, Ishmael Beah writes how he believes that is the reason Saidu is always so quiet. Not too long after, Saidu dies. How has Saidu’s experiencing violent, mature situations contributed to his development as a child, and even his premature death?
  • Level 2
    1. How has Kanei’s maturity resulted in him becoming something of a group leader?
    2. How has the rapid growth between Ishmael and his friends resulted in them growing closer together during their time traveling?
Chapter 11
  • Level 3
    1. What does Ishmael and his friends’ desire to see their families show about their independence and maturity? Do they still feel as if they need to rely on their parents, or do they just want to see them because they’re family?
    2. Gasemu mentions that Ishmael Beah used to “glow,” but is now sad and dull. What does this indicate about how he has developed through the recent events? Has he matured more or less than his peers?
    3. With his only thread of hope lost, how has knowing his family is finally gone, and he is now on his own, impacted Ishmael?
  • Level 2
    1. Why does Ishmael Beah seem so much sadder than his friends, despite having been in an arguably better situation? What does this show about his maturity?
    2. Why do all of the friends lose their wits and rationality, and get in a huge fight after seeing the village burned down? What does it show about their maturity?

Chapter 12
  • Level 3
    1. Is it possible to have your childhood taken away from you?
    2. What is maturity, really? What does it mean to grow up?
    3. At the end of chapter 12, many of the boys, including Ishmael, want to kill the rebels. What does this show about how they have matured and dealt with recent events?
  • Level 2
    1. How have the boys changed through their training?
    2. In what ways have the boys remained unchanged?