He was born in Sierra Leone in 1980 and by 1993 was a child soldier in a civil war that killed his parents and two brothers. It was "a drug-filled life of casual mass slaughter," according to the Publishers Weekly review of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Eventually, Beah fled to New York, graduated from Oberlin, and wrote this memoir, which Starbucks is currently pushing. Tonight you can see Beah read somewhere other than Starbucks. (University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400. 7 pm, free.)