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IraqiGirl: Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  253 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Book by IraqiGirl
Paperback, 205 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Haymarket Books (first published April 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Hadia (iraqigirl)
Aug 17, 2010 Hadia (iraqigirl) rated it really liked it
Unable to review it.. since I wrote it !!
Christine
Dec 20, 2010 Christine rated it really liked it
Adolescence sucks.

Mood swings, identity struggles, major life decisions, cloudy thoughts and actions ("Why did I just say that to my bff?"...). Being a "normal" teen is hard enough.

But then add the trauma of war on top of all that, and it's a wonder a youth can survive adolescence without committing suicide.

In this transcript of Hadiya's blog, you clearly see how "normal" she is but how abnormal (well, to us) her life is. In one blog post, she will talk about TV shows, food, a family vacay or a
...more
Lynn
This book was brought to my attention by one of my high school students and I can't thank her enough for it. This is a terrific YA book about a young woman who begins a blog about her life in Mosul, Iraq at age 15 in 2004. The topics she covers are the profound and banal, but life isn't very banal when bombs kill people everyday and the family can't go out of their homes. Under the pseudonym, Hadiya, the young woman talks about how life has changed drastically during and after the war. Under Sad ...more
Sam
Dec 31, 2014 Sam rated it it was amazing
Intriguing. At times depressing. At times aggravating. At times filled with the everyday concerns of a student hoping to do well in school and which career path she wishes to follow in future.

A series of IraqiGirl's blog posts from 2005-2007 are compiled here allowing us insight into the life of a teenager living in Mosul, Iraq during the US "liberation/occupation". In some places, notes are added to help the reader understand a bit more in depth to some of the incidents and dates she refers to
...more
Suzie Quint
Aug 05, 2011 Suzie Quint rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
For what it is, this book is okay, I just wish it had been more.

I do understand why she didn't make any comments about the Iraqi side of the war because there's an inherent danger in that, but I was still disappointed not to get something more insightful. She mentions the dangers like car bombs and flying bullets often. Those are valid complaints, and I'm sure she's suffered from PTSD, but she never holds anyone but US troops responsible for how difficult her life has become. The bullets aren't
...more
Paige
Interesting reprinting of a teenage girl's blog posts; gives an inside view of the war in Iraq. I was interested in the subject matter and the book is nicely "packaged". However, I was a bit disappointed that the book didn't have more depth and thoughtfulness. Yes, the subjects (war, peace) are quite serious, but the short blog posts from a teenage girl don't seem to delve very deeply. I think my expectations were too high. Plus, a blog post by definition is a short, quick piece - not the depth ...more
Sanya Weathers
Feb 19, 2012 Sanya Weathers rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel
I give the title credit for being precise - this is the diary of a teenaged girl. A really, really normal one. Her diary is about as readable as mine from that age would have been. I gave up about halfway through.
Sophie Zapoli


This is clearly the blog of a teenager and while at times it seems childish and lacks any literary elements, it makes this story all the more realistic and relatable. Raw, emotional, and completely honest, Hayedi tells the story of the Iraqi war from the unique and insightful perspective of a teenager living there. She speaks of Barbies and bombs, she worries about midterm exams and whether she will live until tomorrow or not, showing that she is just a typical girl being exposed to such indesc
...more
Mary
Jun 19, 2017 Mary rated it really liked it
As I said in my update, the virtues of this book far, far outweigh its weaknesses. Hadiya is a smart, articulate, and outspoken young woman, and her blog was eye-opening and often heartbreaking, even for me. Here is a sample of what I mean:

(Hadiya and her family have been able to visit Syria.) "I love Syria because her the people know what freedom means. I love Syria because in Syria there are green trees and happy children and a real life. I love Syria because here simple families live a simple
...more
Ashley Schwartau
May 03, 2017 Ashley Schwartau rated it it was amazing
Enlightening. A modern day Anne Frank diary. Read it. Learn.
Kim
Feb 20, 2017 Kim rated it it was amazing
This book is a reproduction of Hadiya’s blog. She is a young girl living in occupied Mosul, Iraq. It is labeled as teen and biography and politics. I’m not going to review it per se but lament on some of the thoughts and feelings I had while reading this book. I think Hadiya is brave and finds her voice at such a young age. Many times as an adult I don’t use my voice or speak my truth or opinion. This book delves into the details of living in an occupied and war torn city. She has hopes and drea ...more
Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
Reviewed on my blog The Perpetual Page-Turner

How I Got This Book: The people at Haymarket were kind enough to send it to me. This did not affect my opinion or rating of the book.
Rating: 3.5 stars

IraqiGirl is a compilation of blog posts written by an anonymous girl blogging her way through the Iraq War. She shares in her posts the horrors of the war and talks about her life as a teenager in Iraq. She speaks of the typical struggles of any teenager--worrying about exams, friendships, sibling rival
...more
Matt
Oct 25, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it
On the one hand, you have to be ready for the format of this book. It is indeed a blog, with all the unevenness, brevity, and extemporaneity that this implies, especially when it comes from a teenager. On the other hand, this is a remarkable, personal account of the very human effects of war. Hadiya (the author) is in many ways so "normal," concerned with school, friends, her family, and watching the same t.v. shows as Americans. And yet her life is marked by explosions that shatter her windows, ...more
Rivka Ray
Dec 29, 2014 Rivka Ray rated it really liked it
IraqiGirl: Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq
Completed 4-2-14
4 stars

I love learning about other cultures, so this book was right up my ally! It is hard to believe how often they live without electricity! I was really touched when she was away for a week, and the electricity was on while she was gone. Instead of complaining about not being there, she was thankful the other people in her area had electricity. Really puts things in perspective!

And now I will go on my “how wonderful the first amendment
...more
Handd51
Sep 26, 2010 Handd51 rated it really liked it
So interesting. The comparison to Anne Frank is inevitable - but limiting. This book encompasses many (all??) the posts on a blog of the same title, posted beginning with the US invasion in 2004 and continuing through 2007, with a more recent interview. Her pen name is Hadiya, and she was 15 at the start. She is at turns depressed at the increasing violence, angry at the US for ruining her country, and confused what to think, say, plan for her future - but throughout she is honest and plain-spok ...more
Dana Burgess
Jan 27, 2015 Dana Burgess rated it it was amazing
This was a fabulous insight into the war from a teenager's point of view. Certainly it was somewhat anti-American but just what I would expect from any teen anywhere faced with the circumstances. Aside from the war issues and issues that just come from living in Iraq, it was wonderful to see that teens are teens are teens no matter where they live, no matter their religion. There are the same issues with siblings and parents and friends. This book is basically her blog published and I loved when ...more
Jennifer Lavoie
This book looks at the Iraq war from a teenage girl's perspective. Hadiya is fifteen years old and living in war torn Mosul. Daily she has to live with car bombs and shooting near her home and school. Family members are killed and friends flee the country. Yet she keeps on blogging. Though she is often pessimistic, can anyone blame her? She sees death around her daily and even her home is not the safest place. School is often called off because of flooding or curfew, but she still studies for he ...more
Bev Walkling
Mar 07, 2016 Bev Walkling rated it really liked it
I chose to leave this book in my bathroom and read it slowly as it was never written to be read in one sitting. It tells the experiences of one teenage girl living in Mosul over a fairly lengthy period of time. It was reminiscent to some other books I have read - Zlata's Diary, I am Fifteen and I do Not Want to Die - and yet though similar, she tells her own tale written in blog posts which allowed her to express herself and get some feedback from Americans - the youth of the country that was bo ...more
Joy
Feb 12, 2012 Joy rated it really liked it
Through her blog, the world was able to see the effects of war on individuals. It's true that what is reported on the news is just a minute detail of what actually happened in her country. Despite her young age, she was able to fight her own battles, that is being a teenager and being in the middle of the war. I've felt terrible and sad that for her the bombings, violence and death are an everyday occurrence. Her pessimism on the future made me want to reassure her that everything will be alrigh ...more
Salsabrarian
Feb 04, 2016 Salsabrarian rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, adult, war, diaries, iraq
It's no "Anne Frank" (but then could anyone come close??). This is a compilation of Hadiya's blog entries which were meant for public consumption, so there's a certain lack of intimacy and sharing of deep inner thoughts. Her entries start out in a typically girlish teen voice but as the war progresses and she reports on bomb explosions and loss with greater frequency, her tone darkens and her prose becomes more expressive. She broods over the reasons for her existence in a war-torn land, signing ...more
Rhonda
Apr 02, 2011 Rhonda rated it really liked it
This story is one of the best I've read in a long time, it made me feel free! The story made me feel differently and experience something that is not a part of my life. The book really goes deep, involving a girl who lives in Iraq, Hadiya. The book describes her school and the classes she takes. The conditions she writes about are not good. She needs to change schools and the windows of her house keep breaking because of the explosions. She also has very limited use of electricity and needs to s ...more
Mazohyst
Oct 27, 2016 Mazohyst rated it it was ok
Expected a little more depth from this novel. I was a little caught off guard by who (despite her circumstances), Hadiya is very much a normal teenage girl. She's easily charmed by cute babies, extremely studious, not prone to little spats with her older sister. Shockingly, has very little concern about boys at 16. I could not say the same about myself when I was her age!

Overall, a very interesting look at what happens in the neighbourhoods of normal people who happen to be in Iraq. Not to downp
...more
Laura
I was looking to expand my reading. I haven't read much set in the Middle East but I saw this as a recommended read for the district GT students. I stole a copy from the teachers workroom and began to read.

I'm impressed that she writes her blog in English, not her native language. I'm impressed that she continues to blog on Wordpress. I'm impressed that she is so willing to share her life. I'm impressed by the author.

It's important for us to learn about the other point of view. Regardless of how
...more
Talha
Jan 10, 2017 Talha rated it really liked it
Although its a diary of a teenage girl and reader often gets irked by her lacking the maturity of a pro-reader, but the inside facts of barbarism and terror caused by American forces are really new for most of us. I think its a much better book than over-hyped Malala's [auto]biography for anyone seeking the truth. Innocence of author and the way she describes such a horrible things in pretty innocent way really touches you deep and can give some idea of the trauma caused by these invaders to the ...more
Bonnie
A collection of blog entries (and a few other tidbits) from an Iraqi girl during the American occupation of her country. I will say it’s a bit repetitive, but this is one of those books where it’s less about the writing than it is about the experience. This is a chance to see the world and the Iraq war through the eyes of a normal teenager who grew up in a different culture and country. It’s sometimes very nice to step into someone else’s life and get a perspective you would otherwise never have ...more
Elena
Sep 26, 2014 Elena rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes to know peoples story in a different country
This book was so good! I enjoyed reading this a lot. I cant imagine facing many challenges while studying and going to school and seeing dead bodies. Now this would affect me too just like it did to her life and family. I respect this girl and i hope she is doing okay. I just wish there was no such thing as war. I understand her feelings. Religion shouldnt matter either. Just because you are muslim does not mean they should be labeled terrorist. Im a christiian qnd i am friends with a muslim. If ...more
Ramarie
Apr 02, 2010 Ramarie rated it liked it
a book compiled from the blog entries of a young teenage girl living in Iraq. She's honest about her feeling that the Americans are interfering in Iraqi's lives, her pride in being Iraqi and Muslim, her desire for "simple" things like 24-hour electricity and clean water, and silence from the sounds of shelling and bombs. What a fresh and different perspective. The book also includes an interview with her, discussion questions, and a timeline.
For her safety, her real name is not revealed, but "Ha
...more
Aspasia
Apr 28, 2010 Aspasia rated it really liked it
Iraqi Girl is your typical 15 year old. She blogs about her room, friends,and school while being unaware of the politics that shaper her world. The US invasion of Iraq changes this, and soon Iraqi Girl is blogging about bombs, Bush, and Saddam. The first half of the book is difficult to read because Hadiya was still struggling with her English language skills. In the three years this book covers, we Hadiya's English improve along with an overall maturing into young adulthood.
Den
This is the Iraq part of my around the world challenge.
I couldn't imagine life as a teenager in her country. It is a series of blogs written by an Iraqi teenage girl. It describes how she tries to study hard to go to college but with exams getting cancelled hours before, very little electricity, explosions, people getting hurt, friends leaving the country etc. She shows the war from the other side - something I am ashamed to say I never really thought about.
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