• In 1998 in New York City, Ishmael's friends ask about his life in Sierra Leone, but realize he hasn't told them everything about that time.
• Ishmael heard stories about the war, but he didn't know anything about it except the little heard from refugees or seen in movies.
• The first time he was touched by war was in 1993 when he, his brother Junior, and friend Talloi left home to participate in a friend's talent show.
• They had rap and dance group they had started after being introduced to rap music in Mobimbi, a quarter where Americans who worked for the same company their father did, lived.
• When they left that morning for Mattru Jong, they packed their backpacks with lyrics, cassette tapes, and they wore several layers of clothing.
• They walked the sixteen miles to save money.
• At two in the afternoon, they arrived at Kabati where...
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