The boys find out that the other boys are rebels. They start to fight each other. Several are killed or injured. Alhaji is praised because he cut out someone's eye.
Without the drugs Ishmael starts to feel emotions again and has horrible dreams/flashbacks.
Visitors from the European Commission come to see Benin Home.Mr. Kamata, the director of the home asks Ishmael to speak out against the use of children as soldiers and in favor of the possibility of child soldiers being rehabilitated asked in future. He also starts to visit his uncle and the family.
Ishmael moves in with his uncle's family. Just after a short time he has an opportunity to interview for the chance to go to New York and speak on behalf of child soldiers at the United Nations.
Ishmael flys to New York. He is stunned by its modernity. The next morning, he and Bah, the other boy who was chosen, meet children from around the world, and learn about each other’s lives. He meets Laura Simms. On the last day he can address the UN Council about his experiences. A speech had been written for him back in Freetown, but he decides instead to speak from his own heart and mind.
On the morning of May 25, 1997, there are gunshots in Freetown. The government is ousted in a coup by a group of army officers. The new government releases prisoners from the central prison, and gives them guns as they exit. There is massive looting, and many released prisoners seek vengeance on the lawyers and judges who put them in prison. A man named Johnny Paul Koroma comes on the radio, announcing himself as the new president, having overthrown the democratically elected Yejan Kabbah. The army and the rebels have joined forces. Total chaos grips the country. The new government, called Sobels, shuts down schools and even blows up bank vaults to get money. To get food for their family,Ishmael and his friend sneak to a black market. The armed men begin firing on the people with bullets and tear gas and a helicopter fires on protesters with its machine gun. His uncle gets sick but cannot go out of the house. When he passes away, Ishmael calls Laura and asks her if he can move to New York. He makes it to Guinea, and takes a bus to Conakry, where there are even more bribes and over fifteen checkpoints. He isn't sure what to do next and so goes to the embassy of Sierra Leone.