“Powerful and haunting” is how one of the students in the English advanced course (E-LK Q1) described the experience of reading Agu’s story in Uzodinma Iweala’s novel Beasts of No Nation. Set in an unnamed African country torn by a brutal and disorienting civil war (inspired by Nigeria’s Biafra War), it follows the story of a young boy who loses his family and joins a group of militants in order to survive. A trailer for the movie version on Netflix can be found here.
Understandably, when writing about their reading experiences, the students of the advanced course found some aspects of the novel difficult to stomach. “Beyond horrifying,” one says, while another calls it “heartbreaking.” At the same time, however, they all emphasize the value of having experienced it. One concludes that the story “is a must-read for anyone who is interested in war and its impact on the innocent,” arguing that it sheds light on “a topic that is often overlooked and forgotten.” Another student acknowledges that it “is not an easy read but it is an important one,” and concludes: “I highly suggest this book to anyone who is interested in exploring the complexities of conflict and its impact on those who are caught in it.”
In the end, the students voted on the three book reviews they wanted to see published on the school’s website and in the yearbook. (Lukas Preuß)
You can read them in full here: