I Found this book an informative read . Would be an excellent story for a book report . A graphic firsthand look at the war in Sarajevo by a Croatian girl whose personal world has collapsed, this vivid, sensitive diary sounds an urgent and compelling appeal for peace. Filipovic begins her precocious journal in autumn 1991 as a contented 10-year-old preoccupied with piano and tennis lessons and saturated with American movies, TV shows, books and rock music. Soon the bombs start falling; her friends are killed by shrapnel or snipers' bullets; her family's country house burns down, and they subsist on UN food packages, without gas, electricity or water, as thousands of Sarajevans die. Filipovic, whose circle of friends included Serbs, Croats and Muslims, blames the former Yugoslavia's politicians for dividing ethnic groups and playing hell with people's lives. She and her parents escaped to Paris, and her diary, originally published in Croat by UNICEF, was reissued in France and has already been much written about in the U.S.
The first person account really shows what this young girl had to go through just to stay alive. It can be related to many things that are occuring now throughout the world. Many say she's a modern Anne Frank, and I agree!
This book is very passionately written as a diary, day by day, in the life of a child who goes from living a normal life to one of war, making do with what you have, bombing, noise, no school, no outings.. This book is a reminder to all of us who live in a "peaceful" society of what happens to children during wartime. I read "The diary of Anne Frank" as a teen, but this really brought it home to me.
I was in 2nd-5th grade during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I had no idea there even was a war and I am utterly upset about this. Once the war ended, when I was in 5th or 6th grade, a friend of mine was extremely fascinated by Zlata Filipovic. She had pictures of her in her locker and I asked who she was. My friend even got her hair cut just like her (which I laughed when I read the intro by Zlata in this anniversary special who stated she is embarrassed now by the haircut she had). All my friend told me is that she lived in a war area. I didn't understand because I didn't know there were wars anywhere. For years I wanted to learn what the title of this book was and I used to write letters to my friend once she moved away and asked her, but she never told me. I finally found it. The only other way I knew there was a war there was because of The Cranberries' songs in To the Faithful Departed album.
Now that I am older, I am learning about all the wars that I didn't know happened in my childhood and ones currently going on. My heart breaks for the children and families and men and women who suffer because of wars.
I am a month shy of three years younger than Zlata. In reading her story from her diary, I was able to learn more about the war that happened and how her life and the lives of others were transformed for the years that they suffered trying to survive normalcy without having the lives they were once used to. Basically the Croats, Serbs, and Muslims had disagreements and she calls them "the kids" throughout her diary. I loved that once she said they were playing with maps with their crayons. It was a good book and I wish I had read it in middle school. She explains the hunger, the uncomfortable life she had to deal with in having a lack of access to water, food, and gas or heat. She constantly talks about how things are "horrible" or "terrible" in telling the tragedies she witnessed or heard of and the losses of lives of those she cared for. I think this book would be a good one to give to children near her age group so they can learn about history and the life of a more modern war child. I have children of my own and make sure they understand what is going on in the world around us and perhaps in time they will be reading this too.
Similar to "The Diary of Anne Frank" but more contemporary--1992-1993 in Sarajevo. Short entries, gives you a sense of what living in a war torn country is like. Definitely made me thankful for everything we have and that we aren't fighting a war on U.S. soil at least. It was enlightening to me to see how similar Zlata was to American 11-yr.-olds.