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Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,418 Ratings  ·  483 Reviews
When Zlata’s Diary was first published at the height of the Bosnian conflict, it became an international bestseller and was compared to The Diary of Anne Frank, both for the freshness of its voice and the grimness of the world it describes. It begins as the day-today record of the life of a typical eleven-year-old girl, preoccupied by piano lessons and birthday parties. Bu ...more
Paperback, revised, 240 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Penguin (first published 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Luke G
Sep 21, 2007 Luke G added it
Recommends it for: people not trying to figure out what was going on between the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.
April 17. We got the UN relief package today. YO BABY YO, as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air would say. Tried to watch Murphy Brown but the sound was drowned out by shelling (I know, MORE shelling!) and then the rabbit ears were exploded by a sniper's bullet. RUDE! Pepsi just came out with limited-edition cans with Linda Evangelista on them. I wish I could get one. I haven't tasted processed sugar in over five months.

Got an A in math, biology, and piano! The piano was exploded so had to mime the re
...more
Leanna
Sep 04, 2007 Leanna rated it really liked it
Zlata’s Diary is literally Zlata’s diary. Zlata lives in Sarajevo and starts keeping a diary in September 1991, not long before her 11th birthday. She excels in school, enjoys fashion magazines, and watches Murphy Brown on television. Six months later, she is recording the tragedies of war.

Reading about war from a child’s perspective is an interesting experience. Zlata mentions politics several times, writing that “politics has started meddling around. It has put an ‘S’ on Serbs, an ‘M’ on Musli
...more
Dolores
Apr 08, 2008 Dolores rated it it was ok
There's not much you can say about this book. Wartime diaries are a very effective way of communicating what people suffer through on a daily basis. This book was clearly written by an intelligent and sensitive young woman. It was interesting to read her thoughts on being compared to Anne Frank--she didn't want to be compared to her since she didn't want to suffer the same fate. That to me was an insightful comment about people being more than just news items.
Anarika
Why do I like this book so much? I really do.
Who is able to convene in this way all the pain, the tragedy and humanity and inhumanity of war, without any fancy shmancy false talk, without any presumptuousness, any falsity or hidden agenda? Simply by scanning the events that matter, from when you understand that this is different. It’s not fiction! This is 1st person singular non - fiction. Nothing’s invented. When this got to my brain, I cried… even though so many years have passed since I had
...more
Audra
Dec 16, 2014 Audra rated it really liked it
"Zlata's Diary" is about an eleven year old girl living with her parents during a war in Bosnia (Sarajevo). "Zlata's Diary" is similar to "The Diary of Anne Frank." Both take place during a war, but Anne's was timed way before Zlata's was. And Anne died, Zlata didn't. Before the war started, her diary consisted of Birthday Parties, friends, school, piano lessons, and being able to go out and play without having to worry about a shell falling on their heads. But when the war started, she started ...more
Destiny
Jun 07, 2009 Destiny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zlata’s Dairy
Filipovic, Zlata

“A blast of gunfire!” doesn’t that sound scary. Have you ever heard gunfire before? If you have how does it sound? Did it sound loud and annoying or did it sound nice and peaceful? I think it probably sounded loud and annoying.

Zlata’s Dairy about a girl named Zlata Filipovic whose child life was ruined by a war in Sarajevo. Before the war started in Sarajevo, Zlata was living a great life. She took a lot of classes. She took music class, solfeggio class, tennis les
...more
Saqib Moosa
Feb 16, 2016 Saqib Moosa rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
An account of the details of wartime life and how difficult it is. As it was written by Zlata who was a child then, there isn't much details of why the war was happening or where the latest front was, who the warring parties were etc. just a pure view of how she perceived it and how much it upset her to be away from family, to have her best friend die at the age of 11, and how much this traumatized her.

It also reflected how tolerant her surroundings were as many of her friends were from differe
...more
Naeema Abedin
Jun 02, 2015 Naeema Abedin rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. Zlata's diary goes through so much for girl that is so young. The war started when she was 11 years old and she lived through the war for two years. She went through many shooting, shelling, bombing, etc. Zlata made me realize how lucky I am not living through a terrible war. I really admire Zlata's personality. She is very kind. For example, in her diary she writes, "It looks to me as though these politics mean Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. But they are all peo ...more
Michelle Arrow
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!

*3.5 star rating*

As you're reading this review, you'll most likely be suspecting that this is very much like Anne Frank's story. And this is not fiction, either, so don't make some masterful plan to prove me wrong, hah. *jokes* But I must say that Zlata's Diary cannot utterly even try to compete with Anne's diary at all, since this lacked so much, and had too much that took out the innocence and realism that
...more
cathleen
Apr 14, 2008 cathleen rated it did not like it
melodramatically edited and ghost-written. zlata's diary may have been a poignant, emotional, and honest account of a girl during war-time, but opportunist publishers seeking to maximize the emotional impact and emphasize the precocious "from the mouths of babes" aspect of a book about war written by a child have added improbable narrative and skewed the prose in a falsely cathartic way. the editing and doubtful translation have created something maudlin and cheap in an effort to over-simplify a ...more
Mary Louise
Jan 22, 2012 Mary Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Zlata's Diary is the true story of Zlata Filipovic, a young girl who lived and suffered through the terrible siege in Sarajevo in the early 1990s. She received this diary before the siege began, and it's striking to see the difference in her writings from before and during the war. Before the siege, she was like any ordinary 5th grade girl- she studied, did well in school, took music lessons, watched television shows, and enjoyed family vacations. After the siege, her diary takes a turn to delve ...more
Lauren Hopkins
Mar 20, 2015 Lauren Hopkins rated it really liked it
I go back and read this every few years after first reading it as a child in 1996. As much as you could learn about the war and the politics behind it, you can't truly understand it unless you hear the stories of those who lived it. It's why I also love Barbara Demick's "Logavina Street"...but Zlata's diary is even more special because it's written by a child. Zlata was 11 when she began writing in 1991, at first about grades and birthday parties, and only really paying attention to world happen ...more
Fernanda
Mar 11, 2015 Fernanda rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Baelor
Feb 16, 2014 Baelor rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, diary
This book is a very quick read. It was a gift from my grandparents; Zlata interviewed my grandfather for a documentary, and she autographed a book for me as a gift. I knew nothing about the Bosnian War, so I did a bit of cursory research while reading the book.

What makes Zlata's Diary compelling is Zlata's ignorance. Thus the descent from an idyllic childhood to a spartan existence occurs with little buildup or contextual knowledge. Zlata's naïveté discernibly dissipates as her journal spends mo
...more
Apryl Anderson
(04.04.1994), What a disturbing book! I think about the crises I encountered at the ripe age of 12… my life read more like Cici’s: heartaches for Toms, etc. Anyway, this is a genuine piece of history. Anything else? It doesn’t change anything, does it? How ironic that Zlata refers to the politicians as “kids”— it’s maturity that a child should recognize utterly childish behavior. Why do these ‘kids’ try to kill each other by attacking the innocents? Even Evil should recognize the uselessness of ...more
Daksha Chandra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dahl
Todo el mundo ha leído o, al menos, ha escuchado hablar del Diario de Anna Frank, pero no son tantos los que conocen el Diario de Zlata.

Al igual que Anna Frank que describió las penurias sobrevividas junto a su familia y otros judíos en su pequeño zulo de Amsterdam durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial . Zlata, otra joven víctima de la guerra, narra con desconcierto y horror el inicio del conflicto en Bosnia-Herzegovina, desde la casa familiar ubicada en pleno Sarajevo.

Tuve la oportunidad de leer am
...more
Kristin
I've had this book since I was 10 (29 now) but had not read it. Having completed it, I am glad I waited until this era of the internet so I was able to find out what happened to Zlata after the book ends. The ending is very abrupt, I just turned the page and the only printing that followed was a note that this edition was printed specifically for schools. I suppose that is always a possibility when it is a diary being printed, especially a diary of a living person during a current event, as I im ...more
Damla Çevik
May 06, 2016 Damla Çevik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Çocukluğumun ilk kitaplarından; bana nerede olduğumu unutturup savaşın göbeğine götüren, dünyanın acımasız gerçeklerini küçücük yaşta yüzüme çarpan, kaç kez dönüp okuduğumu sayamadığım, kanımı donduran yegane kitaplardan Zlata'nın Günlüğü. İlk okudumda Zlata'dan küçüktüm, o hep o yaşta kaldı ben büyüdüm ama kitabı elime aldığımda hissettiğim şeyler geçen yıllara rağmen hiç değişmedi. Kesinlikle herkes okumalı.
Lexi
Jun 03, 2011 Lexi rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Girls
I feel bad for not really liking this book... It is a diary of a girl in Sarajevo in the 90's during the Bosnian War.. Don't get me wrong, the diary is interesting, but I was hoping for something deeper and more descriptive.. You know.. Like Anne Frank. The entries are very repetitive, Bombing. Shooting. No electricity.. She didn't really go in to details about herself, or describe the house, or really any details at all.. I think the real greatness of this book is that at the time it brought a ...more
Kelsey Dangelo
Aug 17, 2013 Kelsey Dangelo rated it it was amazing
Zlata is a normal fifth grade girl at the start of her diary. She plays with her friends and goes to school, listens to music, has crushes on boys. Then, her life is torn apart by war and politics. Her diary is definitely the true voice of a child not understanding the whys of the forces that are destroying her world, but observing everything. Her diary shows how a child's life and world are forever affected by war. Her loss of schooling, clothes, food, the impact of it all on her friends and fa ...more
Ashley Jesus
Oct 25, 2011 Ashley Jesus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes, when you're put into a tough situation, you need to grow up, be mature, take care of others before yourself. Zlata's Diary by Zlata Filipovic is the story of a typical 13 year old journal writing girl, except for the fact that she has to deal with one thing most teenagers don't. Zlata lives in Sarajevo, where a war is currently going on. Zlata must grow up and stay strong for her family and friends. She is taken out of school, piano lessons, and forced to temporarily skip through her ...more
Jayme(the ghost reader)
Jun 09, 2014 Jayme(the ghost reader) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
I was interested in this book since I read "The Freedom Writers". The book didn't disappoint. I liked Zlata and all she had to overcome. My first thought when she started writing her diary was : this girl watches alot of TV. She was a happy go lucky preteen. Then the war hit and I watched her change emotionally and mentally. She watched her firends move away. She had to endure bombing, no electricity, or water or gas, sometimes for days. Both of her beloved pets have died. She compared herself t ...more
Lesley
A quick read, written by a perceptive and mature young girl. Having read Anne Frank's diary, I especially appreciated Zlata's love and respect for her family and friends, her measured character, and her modesty (even though she was a talented pupil too, it seems). Her parents seem to cope with the war better as well, though her father develops a hernia, frostbite, and nearly saws off his little finger whilst cutting wood. I took her calling out to God often to be genuine, and not blaspheming, as ...more
Deborah
Nov 26, 2010 Deborah rated it it was ok
Sorry Zlata, but you are no Anne Frank. Yes, she went through a lot, but no more than many others.
I found this repetitive, way too many names to keep track of, (does everyone have a J in the middle of their name there?) it got to the point where I didn't care who they all were.
I had to read this book in increments because my eyes would glaze over. I found it dull, pretty much the same diary enties, time after time.
A friend said she had to read this in high school. Ugh! I'd hate to have had to m
...more
Liz
Apr 27, 2009 Liz rated it it was ok
Shelves: wee-lads
Nothing great. I can see why during the Sarajevo crisis this would be a very valuable teaching tool and pop-sensation. But I think very few people will have ever heard of it in the next 10, 20 years. I think it may have even died out already if it weren't for Freedom Writers bringing it back to life when it was on it's final breathe. Zlata has a great vocabulary and she tells an interesting story, but there's much better out there in terms of war time non-fiction.
Aurelien
Then a child living through a war, Zlata Filipovic has often been compared to Anne Frank. That's cliches and, at least for me, misleading as to what to expect from this book. After all, even though the Bosnian war quickly escalated into an ethnic conflict, she was not a recluse fearing arrest and deportation, nor was she faced with racist policies affecting her daily life.

Having said that, her experience remains of course an horrible one. You may or may not have in mind the atrocities perpetrate
...more
Jennie
Aug 05, 2007 Jennie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spoiled Americans
Shelves: young_adult, memoir
I read this book in review to see if we could somehow incorporate it into our curriculum. I think I enjoyed the idea of it more than I enjoyed the actual book, so we'll see. I'm just always interested in literature for middle school aged students that is international and been translated into English.
Ada
Dec 17, 2014 Ada rated it it was amazing
Well this was my first anchor book of quarter 2 but IT IS REALLY GOOD! It makes me realize that people can be in tough situations when they are practically in the middle of war. It tells how a young girl and her family faced the challenges of war, and what it did to their family.
Lennie
Apr 01, 2009 Lennie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While most of us weren't around when WWII occured, we can certainly remember the war in Sarajevo and it is for this reason I feel that Zlata's Diary has such a powerful impact with people today.
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Zlata Filipović is a Bosnian-Croat writer and author of the book Zlata's Diary.
From 1991 to 1993, she wrote in her diary (called "Mimy") about the horrors of war in Sarajevo, through which she was living. Some news agencies and media outlets labeled her the "Anne Frank of Sarajevo". Unlike Frank, however, Zlata and her family all survived and escaped to Paris in 1993 where they stayed for a year.
...more
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“It looks to me as though these politics mean Serbs, Croats and Muslims. But they are all people. They are all the same. They all look like people, there's no difference. They all have arms, legs and heads, they walk and talk, but now there's "something" that wants to make them different.” 17 likes
“War is no joke, it seems. It destroys, kills, burns, separates, brings unhappiness.” 6 likes
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