They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers

"The ultimate focus of the rest of my life is to eradicate the use of child soldiers and to eliminate even the thought of the use of children as instruments of war." —Roméo Dallaire

In conflicts around the world, there is an increasingly popular weapon system that requires negligible technology, is simple to sustain, has unlimited versatility and incredible capacity for both loyalty and barbarism. In fact, there is no more complete end-to-end weapon system in the inventory of war-machines. What are these cheap, renewable, plentiful, sophisticated and expendable weapons? Children.

Roméo Dallaire was first confronted with child soldiers in unnamed villages on the tops of the thousand hills of Rwanda during the genocide of 1994. The dilemma of the adult soldier who faced them is beautifully expressed in his book's title: when children are shooting at you, they are soldiers, but as soon as they are wounded or killed they are children once again.

Believing that not one of us should tolerate a child being used in this fashion, Dallaire has made it his mission to end the use of child soldiers. In this book, he provides an intellectually daring and enlightening introduction to the child soldier phenomenon, as well as inspiring and concrete solutions to eradicate it.

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By Shonna (Markham, ON, Canada) · ★★★★★ · November 22, 2012
Stayed up late last night to finish this one as there is a waiting list for it at work. It is a heavy subject, but a very readable book. Dallaire writes in a very conversational style and the book is written like it is speaking to you directly. There are three sections where he has included a fic... ...more
By Doriana (Laval, QC, Canada) · ★★★☆☆ · July 04, 2013
While this was a heavy subject and a very concerning one, I was totally immersed in Romeo Dallaire's crusade against child soldiers! It is hard to believe what goes on in the world but it is all too real and beyond anyone's comprehension. By countries banding together and by individuals standing... ...more
By Kate (Vancouver, BC, Canada) · February 24, 2015
This book was first I've read which used sections of fiction to bring to life the facts and history that make up the majority of the book. For two chapters Dellaire writes from the perspective of a child soldier, inventing an entire history of child including the names of family members and a viv... ...more
By Jo (Vancouver, BC, Canada) · ★★★★☆ · July 18, 2014
As much as I respect L.General Dallaire as a humanitarian, I found this book a bit of a slog at the beginning. Smartly, Dallaire breaks up the factual chapters with fictionalized ones of child soldiers and an army officer, to better illustrate the horrendous nature of the use of child soldiers in... ...more
By hilary (Toronto, Canada) · ★★★★☆ · June 05, 2012
I'm about half way through this book. I want to keep on top of what Romeo Dallaire is doing, since he's a bit of a hero of mine. So far it's good; can't read too much of it at once, because it is hard on the psyche. He has included what I think is a very effective fictionalized account of a child... ...more
By Julia (Edmonton, AB, Canada) · ★★★☆☆ · January 03, 2012
The author made some interesting points and presented child soldiers in a new way, and also had a chapter written toward young readers, advising them how they can help with the situation.
However it was extremely repetitive... it could have been cut in half and delivered the same message, but cons... ...more
By Rebecca (Canada) · ★★★★★ · January 05, 2011
Why do I always kick off the new year on a downer?

I hate to say it, but I kind of wimped out on this one after the first-hand account of being a child soldier (which is fictional but a composite of what I suspect it is like). I skimmed through the rest. Still, I'm convinced that this is a big pro... ...more
By Radiah (Singapore) · ★★★★☆ · January 30, 2014
I picked up this book at the library after reading the excerpt on the back stating that child soldiers should not be viewed strictly as victims, but as a weapon system. It aroused feelings of discomfort, and I decided to borrow it and read what a former UN-peacekeeping officer has to say.

He obvio... ...more
By Josh (Sydney, 02, Australia) · ★★★★☆ · July 03, 2012
This book could be better with some more serious editing work and a little more attention to prose in the fiction chapters. At the end of the day it's not a huge detractor: Dallaire's strength is in his experiences and his knowledge, I can suffer his writing style. ...more
By Jeff (Walworth, WI) · ★★☆☆☆ · August 07, 2011
An A+ high school research paper. ...more