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Thura's Diary: My Life in Wartime Iraq
     

Thura's Diary: My Life in Wartime Iraq

by Thura al-Windawi
 

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Nineteen-year-old Thura al-Windawi kept a diary during the conflict in Iraq, saying that it was her way of “controlling the chaos.” The diary, which documents the days leading up to the bombings, the war itself, and the lawless aftermath, puts a personal face on life in Baghdad. As Thura describes her life and that of her two younger sisters, she shows

Overview

Nineteen-year-old Thura al-Windawi kept a diary during the conflict in Iraq, saying that it was her way of “controlling the chaos.” The diary, which documents the days leading up to the bombings, the war itself, and the lawless aftermath, puts a personal face on life in Baghdad. As Thura describes her life and that of her two younger sisters, she shows readers the many small details that illuminate the reality of war for Iraqi families, and especially for Iraqi children.

Reminiscent of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and the recent national bestseller Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo, Thura's Diary gives the perspective of a young woman caught in the midst of a turbulent time and puts a face, a name, and a voice to the word “Iraqi.”

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
As the author writes in the postscript of this book, ". . . the reason I wrote the diary. I wanted to try to bring about a greater understanding of my country and to show what Iraqis are really like. I wanted people to know what it's like for children to have no hope. . . I wanted them to know what it is like to have to flee from home. . . I wanted to make the Americans and the British understand that we are not their enemies. We just need some security and the chance to lead normal lives." This is an incredibly timely book on the effects of the Iraqi war on average Iraqis, especially in light of the political turmoil that continues in that country. Thura's diary, which shows clearly the plight of the average person and family during the American and British bombardment, should be a "must-read" for American schoolchildren. Like The Diary of Anne Frank and Zlata's Diary, this text humanizes a situation with which most children have no first-hand experience. Definitely a needed addition to any library; in addition, teachers could easily use this book with the two mentioned earlier as well as any first-hand accounts of "teens of war situations" in literature circles to further enhance student empathy and understanding of the terrible toll of war on humanity. 2004, Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 12 to 18.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-The strength of this diary is in its matter-of-fact delivery. The author, now a scholarship student at an American university, writes of her daily life in war-besieged Baghdad. She describes the events just prior to the U.S. and Britain's "shock & awe" attack on Iraq. Her family braces for the imminent onslaught, the tension growing. From worrying about who will take care of the dogs when the family evacuates to finding enough insulin for her diabetic sister, she shows what it's like to live with war. Al-Windawi describes wearing a mask to filter air tainted by the noxious fumes from oil fires around the city and from the dust that the bombs and sandstorms stir up. She writes about the rumbling approach of B52's and the barrage of bombs that makes her house shudder. Interspersed are the refreshing dreams and goals of a bright and self-motivated young woman. Perhaps some of the emotion has been distilled through translation, as Thura seems removed from the action, panning through the terror to present the facts. Perhaps it's self-preservation. Political sentiments occasionally poke through, but the focus is on explicitly and calmly exposing the ravages of war on the vulnerable members of society. A postscript describes the author's reaction to the capture of Saddam Hussein.-Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670058860
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/08/2004
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.72(w) x 8.62(h) x 0.78(d)
Lexile:
990L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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