Margaret's Reviews > Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo

Zlata's Diary by Zlata Filipović
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's review
Aug 21, 2011

bookshelves: 2008
Read in June, 2008

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 & compelling appeal for peace. Filipovic begins her precocious journal in autumn 1991 as a contented 10-yr-old preoccupied w/ piano & tennis lessons & saturated w/ American movies, TV shows, books & rock music. Soon the bombs start falling; her friends are killed by shrapnel or snipers' bullets; her family's country house burns down, & 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 & playing hell with people's lives. She & her parents escaped to Paris, & her diary, originally published in Croat by UNICEF, was reissued in France & has already been much written about in the U.S.
A quick read - in her diary, Zlata's thoughts and ideas seem very mature for her age. She is often stoic and philosophical about what they had to deal with due to the war yet at the same time angry that it happened and that it does not seem like it will ever stop. And despite this, she remains upbeat most of the time, displaying an amazing courage and spirit throughout the ordeal.
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