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Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo, Revised Edition Paperback – February 28, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ten-year-old Croatian Filipovic's graphic, firsthand account of life in embattled Sarajevo was a nine-week PW bestseller. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-From September 1991 through October 1993, young Zlata Filipovic kept a diary. When she began it, she was 11 years old, concerned mostly with friends, school, piano lessons, MTV, and Madonna. As the diary ends, she has become used to constant bombing and snipers; severe shortages of food, water, and gas; and the end of a privileged adolescence in her native Sarajevo. Zlata has been described as the new Anne Frank. While the circumstances are somewhat similar, and Zlata is intelligent and observant, this diary lacks the compelling style and mature preceptions that gave Anne Frank's account such universality. The entire situation in the former Yugoslavia, however, is of such currency and concern that any first-person account, especially one such as this that speaks so directly to adolescents, is important and necessary. While not great literature, the narrative provides a vivid description of the ravages of war and its effect upon one young woman, and, as such, is valuable for today's YAs.
Susan H. Woodcock, King's Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143036874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143036876
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Zlata's Diary is a masterpiece. A modern-day Diary of Anne Frank is what comes to mind when I think about this book. Zlata is a girl from Sarajevo, writing as only a child can write about terrors that only adults can inflict. From start to finish, this remarkable books keeps you hoping and praying, for Zlata and for her family and friends. Her diary begins before the war, with typical young-girl items like piano lessons and parties, but quickly becomes a nightmare of bombs and guns. She escapes to Paris, and looks back with sorrow. It is a truly moving text.
Zlata writes as any girl would write, in the beginning. The early part of her diary (it begins in September 1991) deals with ideas about school starting and what happened last summer. Short entries into a girl's diary, not too deep, somewhat interesting but also very typical. She could be any girl in any city in this country. She talks about her friends, her favorite TV shows, her music lessons, and enjoying pizza.
She is 11 years old.
But in less than a year, all of that changes.
She is writing letters and entries recounting horrible events of warfare. Less than a year after she was wondering about the top songs on MTV and her music and friends, she was writing profound letters of love, life and survival.
She recounts hiding in dark, ugly cellars, and hearing bombs dropping, and being very afraid. She writes of her friend Nina who died in of shrapnel in the brain -- another 11 year old girl, just like Zlata. They went to kindergarten together, they played together. Now Nina was dead.
Zlata and members of her family escaped to Paris by December 1993; the diary ends at that point. Zlata grew up tremendously, much as Anne Frank did, during those few years of the war.
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Format: Paperback
Sheesh...this is the product of a child, not the work of a Pulitzer prize winning journalist. It is an excellent diary, an excellent primary source and an excellent text for a better understanding of the Yugoslav wars. Yes...it does only tell one point of view - hers - it is her diary! Some readers are offended because of the comparison to Anne Frank; a comparison that Filipovic and others make in the book. The comparison is totally fair. Both are intelligent children caught up in situations they have no control over during wars of ethnic cleansing and extermination. It is a testament to Zlata that she can make the connection to Anne Frank...obviously the rest of the world couldn't. They (We) abandoned the Jews sixty years ago and abandoned hundreds of thousands of Croats/Bosniaks/Serbs to genocide forty years later. Zlata remembered Anne Frank's words...the world didn't.
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By A Customer on November 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This chilling book reminded me just how lucky I am. I forget and take it forgranted that I am so lucky and able to live wholeheartedly. I forget that in many places, children must suffer and abandon their childhood because of cold, angry war.
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A Kid's Review on November 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Zlata's Diary

Zlata Filipovec

Imagine an ordinary day of your eleven-year-old life. School, friends, family, piano, and pets. Then all of a sudden you're stuck in the middle of a war, a fierce war with no way of hiding but your neighbor's cold, dark, damp basement. You are in the life of Zlata Filipovec. In her diary, Zlata talks about what it is like to live during a war: friends leaving, pets dying, hope falling, and rising.

Zlata started writing in Mimmy, her diary, in September of 1991; she stopped writing in 1993. She got the idea of naming her diary from Anne Frank. Zlata's Diary and the diary of Anne Frank have a lot in common: Anne Frank and Zlata are both a part of a war, they both are loosing friends and family left and right, and of course, they both keep a diary in which they write about the war. Zlata's story is different though, she doesn't write about boys, crushes, and dances. She writes about war and fear. The thing I like about Zlata's diary is that she writes about what is important to her, not to other people. She's an individual.

Zlata writes like a twelve year old, which is not too surprising! When I read her writing I feel like I could have written it. I like her style because I can read it with ease. There isn't hard vocabulary or confusing statements. Zlata's Diary really made me realize that anyone could be part of a war. It's not like they asked for it, it just happened. Her diary made me wonder what I would do if I was put in her shoes. Would I be able to deal with such a calamity? Would I be as fearless; would I go and hide? It really made me think.

This book was one of the best biographies I have ever read. When Zlata started writing her diary she had no intention of publishing it at all.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading an autobiography about one girl's account of her slavery (in Britain in the 1990s to 2000s - not a typo), I decided to encourage my 11-year-old daughter to delve into these true stories as a way to personalize the way girls and women have been and are still struggling to survive around the world today, unlike the relative safety and security and educational and financial prospects we are privileged to enjoy in the U.S. These girls and women have found a way to maintain their hope in their struggle to survive.
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