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Stolen Voices: Young People's War Diaries, from World War I to Iraq Paperback – December 26, 2006


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Stolen Voices: Young People's War Diaries, from World War I to Iraq + Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo, Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143038710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143038719
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This inspiring collection of children's war diaries provides a compelling window into life during conflict. Heartfelt voices detail the fear, longing, hatred and angst we associate with war, but also the banality of daily life, as the 14 authors struggle to interpret their changing societies and cling to normalcy. Russian Nina Kosterina, aged 15 at the outbreak of WWII, describes the desire she feels for a boy in her class as she grapples with a decision to defend her state. At the same time, Austrian Jew Inge Pollack, who was separated from her parents at age 12, writes of homesickness and her burgeoning love for her foster father. Filipovic, aged 11 when the war in the Balkans broke out, describes playing dressup in the one room available to her, amid the perils of sniper fire and without electricity or water. Through these myriad voices, Filipovic and Challenger create a gripping historical narrative whereby war stories are told not through facts and dates but through the honest impressions of youth. Many of the diarists have not survived, but we are fortunate that their stories—many previously unpublished—still remain. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Filipovic's Zlata's Diary (1994), about her teenage years in wartime Sarajevo, was an international best-seller. Now she and her coeditor combine brief excerpts from that stirring account with diary entries from young civilians and soldiers in World War I Germany; World War II Russia, Austria, New Zealand, Germany, Singapore, and the U.S.; Holocaust Lithuania and Poland; Vietnam; Israel and Palestine; and, finally, Iraq. Each entry is framed by a brief historical introduction and an afterword. Anne Frank is everywhere as inspiration, and, like her Diary, the power of these unforgettable pieces is in the close-up details of everyday life in crisis, fragments of war that raise elemental connections. One of the best is the spare account of an Austrian child on the Kindertransport. An American soldier in Vietnam writes of his unspeakable brutality against civilians; then, at an airport bar in California, he is refused service as a minor. An Israeli girl and a Palestinian confront the same question: "I don't understand why people want to kill me." Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cheri on April 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a compilation of war diaries from young people, about 12-20 years old, in wars from WWI to present conflicts in Israel, Palestine and Iraq. The diarists are amazingly engaging.. One minute they are typical adolescents worrying about school or friendships, and then they are concerned for their lives, those of their families, and needs such as food, basic hygiene and human dignity. And often they are both typical and suffering at the same time, a fascinating interplay.

If you know a young person who has met with serious losses in their life, this may be a difficult, but cathartic book for them to read. In our present time in the US, lives for many of our young people seem very simple and easy. Those who have experienced significant loss feel quite alone, as it seems that their peers have no worries beyond popularity, sports and grades. This book can help with that as they hear the voices of those who also, although very young, are dealing with difficult --- sometimes wayyyyy beyond difficult-- times. We hope and pray that this book help us all remember the horrors, not the glories of war, and renew our personal resolve to do what we can to work for peace and justice.

Read it, and you'll find yourself thoroughly engaged in some other worlds. Yeah, it isn't a light or easy read... but you'll be glad you read it. Precious and painful.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Hudson on April 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
This collection of war diaries presents conflicts from World War I to Iraq through a lens not usually viewed - the writings of young people who are experiencing them first hand. These intimate writings relate the diarists' fears for themselves and their families and the anguish of losses they suffer. Yet each one also talks about their hopes for the future in a life without war.

The insights into history are also fascinating, as many of the diarists relate the political perspectives of the war they're living through. I find it so interesting to discover what the people in a country were thinking at the time of a war as opposed to what their leaders were saying about it publicly. And I was pleasantly surprised to find each diary very well written and the stories unfolding in a way that kept a narrative story line progressing. This must be the work of editors Zlata Filipovic and Melanie Challenger, who chose which entries of the diaries to include.

I imagine this work was particularly poignant for Filipovic, whose diary of wartime Sarajevo is included. A line from one of her entries sums up the sentiment that was a common thread among many of the diarists, "I simply don't understand it. Of course, I'm 'young' and politics are conducted by 'grown-ups.' But I think we 'young' would do it better. We certainly wouldn't have chosen war...."
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By Anja on September 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Summer reading for 9th grade. It is sad how much war effects the young people involved but touching to read.
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By JLark on May 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a great addition to my seventh grade social studies class. I read aloud to the students chapters that related to the content that they were studying. Many of my students found the stories to be absolutely riveting. A great book.
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