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Shattered: Stories of Children and War Mass Market Paperback – November 11, 2003

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Editorial Reviews Review

For children who live in war times, whether they understand the issues or not, the future is precarious. According to the United Nations, armed conflicts now kill and maim more children than soldiers. In Shattered, editor Jennifer Armstrong gathers 12 stories that explore the ways young people are affected by war. From Afghanistan to Hawaii, Civil War times to the present, Joseph Bruchac, Ibtisam Barakat, Lois Metger, Marilyn Singer, and others describe, in painful, sometimes wry, detail small slices of their war-splintered world. M.E. Kerr depicts the mixed feelings of the family of a conscientious objector. Graham Salisbury writes about a high-school boy woken out of a complacent existence to discover his island is under attack and he must don his wrinkled high-school ROTC shirt to defend his home. A single line of text runs along the bottom of each story, providing cold, dismaying background information about each war portrayed. Authors' notes at the end of the book allow contributors to give a little more of the personal history behind the stories. (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Twelve thought-provoking stories by as many writers cover a wide range of settings and conflicts. Joseph Bruchac, for example, describes a Native American teen's experience fighting for the Union in the Civil War, and Gloria Miklowitz chronicles a Jewish boy's arrival in Palestine shortly after WWII. Not all of the battlefields are literal: one of the most touching entries, "Things Happen" by Lisa Rowe Fraustino, concerns a girl who helps hide a draft dodger during Vietnam. Others are especially timely; in "Faizabad Harvest, 1980" by Suzanne Fisher Staples, an Afghani girl tells about the Soviet destruction of her village. There is no real pattern to the sequencing; readers may find it jarring, which may have been Armstrong's (The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan) intention ("People... are trying to kill you. Does it matter who they are?" she asks in her introduction). Other aspects of the book may be controversial, as in the lack of challenge to Ibtisam Barakat's understandably biased explanation, in an author's note, of the events leading to the 1967 Six-Day War (her story describes her family's terrifying flight from Israeli forces during that conflict). A single line of text runs below each story, supplying facts; while difficult to navigate, these lines lend context and stimulate new insights. Overall, this is a diverse and varied collection. Ages 9-12.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (November 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440237653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440237655
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dian Curtis Regan is the author of 60 books for young readers, ranging from picture books to novels for teens. Popular titles include Princess Nevermore, Monster of the Month Club, The World According to Kaley, and Barnyard Slam.

She is a former "Member of the Year" of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, has been inducted into the Oklahoma Professional Writers' Hall of Fame, and has received a "Distinguished Medal of Service in Children's Literature" from the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers. Also, a library in South America has been named after her.

Dian graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and taught school in Denver. She is a frequent speaker at writing conferences and schools.

A native of Colorado, she has also lived in Texas, Oklahoma, Venezuela, and Kansas. In 2012, she moved home to Colorado.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on October 15, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Shattered: Stories of Children and War," edited by Jennifer Armstrong, is an anthology of 12 stories that deal with a common theme. To give a sense of the book, here are some brief introductions to some of the stories. "Shattered," by Marilyn Singer, shows how a brother and sister deal with the legacy of their father's Vietnam War service. "Bad Day for Baseball," by Graham Salisbury, looks at the experiences of a Japanese-American boy on the day Pearl Harbor is attacked. "I'll See You When This War is Over," by M.E. Kerr, is about a Quaker family during World War II. "Faizabad Harvest, 1980," by Suzanne Fisher Staples, follows the experiences of an Afghan family during the conflict between the mujahideen and invading Soviet forces; this is a particularly horrific portrait of war's impact upon a family and a community.

Also noteworthy: "Sounds of Thunder," by Joseph Bruchac, looks at the relationship between two Indian boy soldiers serving in the U.S. Civil War. "Golpe de Estado," by Dian Curtis Regan, is about an American family in Venezuela during that country's 1992 civil conflict. This is a particularly vivid account of being an outsider caught in the middle of another country's strife. Regan makes good use of her first-person narrator, and brings irony and a darkly satiric edge to the story.

The entire anthology is only 166 pages long. This makes for compact stories, but overall the authors have compressed some real power into these pages. Each story is accompanied by a crawling footnote that that contains supplemental information that is relevant to the story. It's an interesting and unusual feature that I appreciated. The book also includes brief notes on each contributor; all but one is identified as a U.S. resident.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Blue Jean Online on April 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
by Dianna Hunter English, age 20
"The juxtaposition of youth and war haunts me. They say war isn't an appropriate subject for young people, and you know what? I agree. But war doesn't care. That's why I decided to put this book together." -Jennifer Armstrong
Shattered is a thoughtful and moving look at an all too timely topic: war. Editor Jennifer Armstrong has compiled a wide variety of short stories about the wartime experiences of children. A young Palestinian daughter flees to Jordan with her family during the Six-Day War in 1967. A young girl nicknamed Jacket helps hide her best friend's older brother when he is a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. Lewis Bowman, a young Mohawk, fights with the Union army during the American Civil War. Zack struggles with his American background during a 1992 "golpe de estado" in Latin America. A family of children faces the devastating effects of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Two children struggle to find safety in Israel after surviving Auschwitz.
This book treats children's experiences with respect. Many of the authors speak from their own memories, and those authors writing fiction capture the intensity, the vulnerability, and the strength of childhood. I have to admit that at first the titled worried me. It is very easy to reduce children to their worst experiences and to neglect other aspects of their human identities so that their suffering is easier for others to process. However, this book's articulation of the perspective of children is honest, and for the most part it succeeds in being authentic. It is moving and, as it should be, troubling.
Given the reality of conflict that we currently face, it is vital to remember the devastation of war, and the destruction of life that is left in its wake. Children are not safeguarded from that violence. Armstrong has succeeded in creating a diverse, compassionate, and important look at children and war.
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By Nargiz on May 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Right now, war is one of the biggest issues in the U.S. It's preety much the only thing we hear about the news. However, whether or not we realize this, we are not the only ones that are affected by war. Millions of children have been killed during wars, or have suffered either from injuries or loss of family, and are now orphans. Jennifer Armstrong talks about these issues and also gives examples of such events occuring in many of the different wars that have occured. In some instances chidren hate the war, and in some they like it. Examine the different outcomes and ways that war has effected children's lived in "Shattered:Storied of children and war."
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