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Book Review - Little soldier by Bernard Ashley.

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20th of May 2002 By Hao Du Book Review-Little soldier Bernard Ashley wrote the novel 'little soldier'. It is set in modern day London. The novel tells the story of a teenage black boy from East Africa, his life torn apart in war and loss, he is rescued by the UN, but all he want is to fight the enemy. The main genre of the story is about war and conflict, it also explores the rebellious feelings of teenagers and the urban tribal conflict in London. In my review I will discuss the plot, the theme and the main characters on the story. At the beginning of the story, we find out that the main character Kaninda Bulumba's entire family was killed in a brutal attack by the Yusulu Clan. In grief and despair, Kaninda joined the rebel Kibu Army. After a defeat he was rescued by the UN and is sent to London as a refugee to live with the Rose family. However Kaninda wants to return to Laisai to fight the Yusulu. ...read more.


The main character in the story is Kaninda. About 14 years of age he is black, quite tall and quite muscular. He joined the Kibu army to avenge the death of his family. He was a well-trained soldier. He was fast and agile and always alert for danger. He had a bullet wound in his arm. The same bullet had gone through his mother's stomach. He was left for dead amongst a pile of corpses that were his family. Torn by conflict he showed little emotion. However beneath the mask that was his face, He had feelings. He was honorable. When Laura saved his life he repaid her by taking part in a tribe battle for her. He supported her as much as he could over her problems. Although he hated the Yusulu bitterly, he was sympathetic to the Yusulu boy because they both were victims of war. He was brave, as he didn't flee from four opponents at the same time in the tribe war. He was patient and trained in the tactics of war. ...read more.


The suffering and loss on both sides. Both Kaninda and the Yusulu boy lost their families in war. And at the end of the clashes in London, dozens of people were injured. The minor themes are guilt, racism and hope. The guilt that nearly destroyed Laura. The racism many blacks felt from the society and the police and finally Laura hope for a better future. To conclude this novel is about a refugee boy living in London and the horror and tragedy of real war. The story explores many themes from war to tribal conflicts. Death and loss, guilt and hope. In my opinion the story is okay but the beginning is poor as it takes a while for me to get into the story. The ending is not great either, as we don't know whether Laura is hurt badly or not. Otherwise the author has achieved getting his message through that war is never good for either side. I especially liked the way he sort of uses flash backs from Kaninda's memories to tells what happened earlier in Laisai. Over all I would give this book 6/10. ...read more.

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