This Child Will Be Great is a story of struggle, leadership, and patriotism, but mainly it’s the story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s first female president. In this memoir, Sirleaf intermingles her own history with the history of Liberia, producing an interesting view of how the state of the country impacted her life and brought her to where she is today. The book begins with background information on Liberia, explaining how the country was founded and how the rift between its inhabitants occurred, and then flows into Sirleaf’s childhood and upbringing. Sirleaf constantly goes in between narrating her life and explaining things about her country; however, this seldom causes confusion for the reader. In fact these constant explanations are necessary because the happenings in Liberia become the focus of her life as she becomes an important government figure. As Sirleaf navigates the reader through her involvement in the Liberian government, the reader sees how dangerous the situation was in Liberia and how equally dangerous it was to speak out against corruption and not let the threat of death affect one’s aims for her country. Impressively, Sirleaf does this and survives.
In this memoir Sirleaf proves herself to be a strong, capable woman that is truly devoted to improving her country and who has the skills and ideas to do so. She provides an excellent example of what women can accomplish when placed in roles of leadership. Her story offers hope that things can be changed in the world if dedicated, clear-minded people take control.