Last week, I read Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipović. Zlata kept a diary during the bombing of Sarajevo and it was because she kept this diary that she and her Mother and Father were able to eventually leave Sarajevo and escape the war. I think it’s an amazing testament to history and the power of the written word.
Zlata strikes me as an incredibly mature and articulate girl. Of course, now she is a grown woman with advanced degrees and a widely published and read book, but once upon a time when she was 11, she was stunningly well-spoken. Very impressive insights and such an innocent but realistic view of war. A diary is such a personal and intimate possession and sharing it takes a certain and special type of bravery. I can’t even imagine what she went through, all the fear, and hunger, and anxiety- all at the tender age of 11. Zlata is a very impressive human being. I don’t know that I would have held up so well as she and her family did.
One of the moments in the books that struck me the most was after her diary had been published in limited release. She was still living in Sarajevo, still hearing bombs and bullets on a daily basis, but people knew her. Journalists interviewed her, television crews filmed her, but despite her renown, she was still in danger every day. She mentions in her diary (the bit that was published later) that many of the people interviewing her compared her to Anne Frank. All she had to say to that was that she dearly hoped she wouldn’t share the same fate. Imagine that. Seriously, imagine living in a war zone and keeping a diary and then having people from all over the world (who actually had a chance to leave the city) tell you that you remind them of Anne Frank. Also, you’re 12. And Zlata handled it gracefully, maturely, and with a type of courage that boggles the mind.
Amazing. Simply amazing. This is an incredible read and I highly recommend it.
What have you guys been reading lately???