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

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  4,548 ratings  ·  374 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
ebook, 240 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published 1993)
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Dolores
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.
Leanna
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
Luke G
Sep 21, 2007 Luke G added it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mary Louise
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
Baelor
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
Jennie
Aug 05, 2007 Jennie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spoiled Americans
Shelves: memoir, young_adult
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.
Destiny
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
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
cathleen
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
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
Lexi
Jun 03, 2011 Lexi rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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)
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
Deborah
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
Sara
Zlata Filipovic was a child living in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War from 1991-1993 (the ware actually ended in 1995, but her and her family managed to get out early), and this is the translation of the diary she kept during that time. It's much like a modern day Anne Frank, though Zlata did not have to be in hiding and we got to see and experience the war directly through her innocent eyes.

I had originally read this book as a teenager shortly after it was initially published. Zlata is only a y...more
Liz
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.
Kirana Reine
"Ya Tuhan. Mengapa semua ini harus terjadi? AKU BENAR-BENAR MELEDAK MARAH. AKU INGIN MERAUNG DAN MENGHANCURKAN SEGALA-GALANYA."

Buku Harian Zlata mendeskripsikan dengan gamblang perasaan orang-orang tak bersalah yang terjebak di dalam perang. Tergambar bahwa perang (khususnya perang yang di dalamnya terdapat penjahat-penjahat perang yang tidak memperhatikan etika berperang) selalu membawa petaka bagi orang-orang yang tidak seharusnya terlibat. Wanita, anak-anak, dan penduduk sipil yang tak tahu p...more
Val
This is diary of a girl in a 2 year span during the war that effected Sarajevo-Herzegovina (however you spell it).

This was an interesting read in relation to who I was at the time of its occurrence. Zlata is the same age as my younger brother and it was kind of surreal to relive some of the cultural identities of the time (Madonna, Michael Jackson, etc) that even across the world were influencing youth. I was in HS when the war was going on and vaguely aware of it but not really being touched by...more
Fatoumata Diop
This book talks about a young girl called Zlata who was once “innocent” until the war in Sarajevo happened which completely traumatized her! Zlata's was only thir-teen years old. The day the war started in Sarajevo, Zlata was playing in the park with her friends, but all her friends, even her closest frienjd got killed while playing in the park. Zlata was still alaive. During this hard period of time, Zlata had to be strong for her parents. It is because of everything that she has been throught...more
Sakura
The Accidental Reader Book Reviews

In my opinion you can really review a diary, a diary written by a little girl that had her childhood stolen from the cruelty of war. A lot of people have compared this diary to the Diary of Anne Frank and I have to agree to that. It's pretty much the same situations but different times, and that makes you think how can things like that happen today? How people go into war without even thinking of the consequences that it will have on children, to their country,...more
Lennie
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.
Lacey Louwagie
I'm glad this book exists -- I'm glad that Zlata wrote her experiences, that she survived the war, and that her diary provides a glimpse into war through the eyes of a child. I hope that chronicles like this will make the adults in charge think twice before they start blowing things up.

At the time, Zlata was often referred to as the "Anne Frank of Sarajevo," but the comparison isn't really apt. Yes, both girls were around the same age, writing about war, and allowing their writing to be publishe...more
Mrs.Mason
A quick and easy read about this young girl's life before and during the war in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Interesting and informative and very very fast.
Catherine
I found this book interesting. At times, it reads like it is written by a young girl and at other times, it reads like she is a wise old woman. If only the "Kids" who caused all the fighting would have gotten a clue and ended their war battle. I wanted to know how things ended up for Zlata. I knew about her book by reading The Freedom Writers and was happy to find it.

I liked her family's experience with the little mouse and how even a pest served as a diversion from the horrors of war. Zlata wa...more
Brenda Cregor
I read this with a class of 5th graders who have never tasted of anything similar to war conditions.

I appreciated Zlata's honesty, and the contrast her words created between pre and post war life.

As her diary became "commercialized" and she [in my mind] became a pawn of the press, her words became less genuine to me.

They felt forced, repetitive.

Whether the loss of her anonymity and privacy changed her focus as a writer, I cannot be sure, but it changed my perception of her experience, as a reade...more
Marla
I wanted to read this book because my practicum experience as a teacher candidate is in a school with a high Bosnian immigrant population. None of my students would have memories of the war, but I suspect their parents likely do and I wanted some perspective on this population. Zlata was called the Anne Frank of the Bosnian war and she even refers to Anne's diary in her own diary. I don't think it offers the depth of insight into coming of age during wartime that Anne's diary does. But it does c...more
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Zlata's Diary 8 23 Sep 07, 2014 02:51PM  
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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
More about Zlata Filipović...
Stolen Voices: Young People's War Diaries, from World War I to Iraq Neue Pendelza1/4ge Der Luzern-Stans-Engelberg-Bahn (Lse) Literacy World Non-Fiction Stage 3 Extracts from Zlata's Diary The Freedom Writers Diary (10th Anniversary Edition) Milosevic: The People's Tyrant

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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.” 11 likes
“How you can come to love an animal! She doesn't talk, but she speaks with her eyes, her paws, her meows, and I understand her.” 3 likes
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