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I discovered several apparently untouched copies of Zlata’s Diary in a cupboard in my new classroom, so I’ve just started reading it. What struck me as I read was that Zlata is in her thirties now – as am I – and that nothing’s really changed, something that was picked up in an interview she gave to The Telegraph in 2012:

Zlata Filipovic was a teenager in Sarajevo – and her diary of life under siege touched the world. Now, 20 years later, she says the lessons of that terror still have not been learnt.


I couldn’t help thinking about those caught up in the Gaza conflict…

Her diary is a moving read and I definitely intend to use it in my teaching next year: it has been compared to Anne Frank’s Diary, however many students find it difficult to comprehend how WW2 happened and feel distanced from it by how long ago it was – they think it could never happen again. Zlata’s more recent experiences may be more powerful… 

It prompted me to make a donation to War Child. As adults we are all responsible for the state of the world we live in, but children – who arguably suffer the most – are powerless.