Gr 5-8- Israeli teen Bat-Chen Shahak was killed by a suicide bomber in 1996. This collection of her writings includes letters, diary entries, and doodles. She was an idealistic girl, at the stage of realizing and protesting the world's ills. She was discovering life's painful truths (political unrest, the sorrow of losing a loved one), and readers may feel as though they've found a friend in her chatty diary. However, despite the inevitable comparisons, she's no Anne Frank. She reveals no great insight, and many of her writings (often poems written for special occasions) are downright shmaltzy. Clunky translation, the randomness of the selections, and the lack of context for the political references detract from the book's impact. The photos, reprinted in sepia and lacking captions, appear flat and dull. Perhaps the best aspect of the book is the opportunity to see Hebrew writing in a casual, kid-friendly way instead of in the ceremonial context with which American readers are more familiar. Nonetheless, this rare glimpse into the life of a normal Israeli girl is made more poignant by her death and will be welcome in most collections.-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
The Bat-Chen Diariesby Bat-Chen Shahak
In 1996, on her 15th birthday, Bat-Chen Shahak was killed by a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Center. But the gifted teenager left behind a rich legacy of diaries, letters, poems and drawings. Following her death, her parents gathered her writings and created The Bat-Chen Diaries ; this is the first English translation of her work.
Meet the Author
Bat-Chen Shahak was a typical teenage Israeli girl with a gift for writing. She was killed by terrorists in Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Center on her 15th birthday.
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