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Monday, April 26, 2010

IraqiGirl: Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq

Title: IraqiGirl: Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq
Author: ed, Elizabeth Wrigley-Field and John Ross
ISBN: 9781931859738
Publisher: Haymarket Books

Summary from BarnesandNoble.com:
"I feel that I have been sleeping all my life and I have woken up and opened my eyes to the world. A beautiful world! But impossible to live in.

These are the words of fifteen-year-old Hadiya, blogging from the city of Mosul, Iraq, to let the world know what life is really like as the military occupation of her country unfolds. In many ways, her life is familiar. She worries about exams and enjoys watching Friends during the rare hours that the electricity in her neighborhood is running.

But the horrors of war surround her everywhere—weeklong curfews, relatives killed, and friends whose families are forced to flee their homes. With black humor and unflinching honesty, Hadiya shares the painful stories of lives changed forever. “Let’s go back,” she writes, “to my un-normal life.”

With her intimate reflections on family, friendship, and community, IraqiGirl also allows us to witness the determination of one girl not only to survive, but to create, amidst the devastation of war, a future worth living for."
First Lines:

"Do you know that Aya's grandfather was killed last Thursday by one of the American soldiers' bullets? When Aya is eight years old and asks me how her grandfather died, what will I answer her?"
Page 1 (and also later in the book - this was a little bit of a preview at the beginning of the book.)

I don't read biographies. I really don't. But I picked this one up because it seemed like it would be really interesting - something way outside of the norm. I was absolutely blown away by this story.

This is the story of a girl living in Iraq in the last few years - it's a book that combines all of her blog posts about many issues dealing with war, politics, culture, family, and much more. It's a very honest and real look into a family who is living the horrors of war and how it is affecting them.

There's something about this story that makes you feel like you've been kicked in the gut. I mean, it's a heart-wrenching portrayal of war - and it's all true. I honestly couldn't believe some of the things that she was writing about. The things that happened in her everyday life. I just can't imagine living in a world with little electricity, bombs going off, curfews, and all that stuff.

Honestly this book just makes me very thankful for what I have. And it did make me question some of the world I live in. I'm not really one to get into political issues and all that, so maybe I'm a little sheltered. But to hear some of her stories really makes me wonder how things got to where they are. Who made these decisions. What are we trying to accomplish?

This book was wonderful and I absolutely recommend this to anyone. I think that older teens may get more out of the story - in thinking about the future and where they may be in the next few years. It's also an introspective story about Hadia trying to figure out who she is and how she is affected by her surroundings. It's just so powerful.

And here's something amazing: You can visit her blog to get the updates. I haven't sat down and read it yet, but I can imagine that it would be a very interesting continuation.
Other Blog Reviews:

I honestly couldn't find any other reviews out there - at least not ones put out by the publisher. So please, let me know if you've read this one. I'd love to add your review. If you haven't read it, I'd definitely recommend it.


notesfromnadir said...

This sounds fascinating. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

wrigleyfield said...

Thanks so much for this review! I'm going to pass it on to Hadiya, who I know will be very glad to see it.

By the way, she also welcomes reader mail at hnk1989@gmail.com, should you or any of your readers ever wish to contact her.

-- Elizabeth Wrigley-Field

Chelle said...

Thanks for bringing this book to our attention! I'm off to check out her blog.

Hadia said...

Firstly, Thank you for your recommendation.

you are really welcome to visit my blog at anytime :D ,feel like your are in your own blog!.
(I havent write a post since March but I will finish my Exams at the end of this week, and I will certainly continue blogging after that).

Katie said...

I just became your 100th follower! That has to be a good sign of things to come :) I am so happy you stumbled across my blog today and brought me here b/c I really, really want to read this book!!

Also, I should maybe just explore your site more to answer this myself, but do you ever post about how you became a librarian? That's something I'm really working to become myself, and from where I'm sitting, those jobs are few and far between!

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