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Publisher Description

A child's perspective on war.

In 1998 the Serb military intensifies its efforts to expel Albanians from Kosovo. Ethnic cleansing forces many families to seek safety in the surrounding hills and mountains. The Kosovo Liberation Army fights back guerrilla style, struggling for an independent Kosovo. Some Albanian villagers support the freedom fighters. Others fear that armed resistance, which they have successfully avoided through long years of Serb repression, will only increase the death toll. And always there is terrible tension between Serbian and Albanian neighbors who once were friends. Eleven-year-old Zana Dugolli, an Albanian Kosovar, isn't sure what to think. She does know not to speak her language to Serbs. And every day she worries about her mother and father, her brothers, the farm, the apple orchard. Already she has lost her best friend, a Serb. Then Zana's village is shelled, and her worst nightmare is realized. Her father and two brothers are killed in the attack, and her leg is shattered by shrapnel. Alone in a Serb hospital, she remembers her father's words: "Don't let them fill your heart with hate."

Based on a true story, Alice Mead's stark, affecting novel about a place and conflict she knows well will help young readers understand the war in Kosovo.

Young Adult
April 1
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Grades 5-9

Customer Reviews

skipwarren ,

Fantastic book you have to read it!!!!

This book is amazing!once you read it you will name it your favorite book ever. I read this one year ago when I was 10 and it has been my favorite book since.

Sokol R. ,

Powerful narrative

Alice Mead writes from the heart and her message is peace. And message of peace, humanism, and compassion are at the heart of her books. A few years ago I happened to meet in NY a Kosove girl who had lost her leg in a similar explosion incident decribed in the book. If I am correct, she was brought to NY to get an artificial limb by then Nightline's Dave Marash. The girl, if I'm not wrong was called Ibadete, never lost her smile. She was forgiving and grateful and had a heart of gold. Thanks, Alice!

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