Girl at War by Sara Novic is a historical novel published in 2015. The author did extensive research on her topic by interviewing her friends and family who lived through the Croatian war. Their stories were the inspiration for her characters. This historical fiction is well told and it will make you cry.
The main character is a young girl named Ana who tries to understand all the nuances of who is part of the right population and who is in the wrong. She has a very sick baby sister who will die if she doesn't get help from the USA. Ana's parents work desperately to keep their family together and alive.
There is a scene in this book, where her father tells her how to stay alive, and it gutted me as a reader. I can't even imagine what the people of this area went through during this war. Ana becomes a child soldier and her journey and loss of innocence will make you want to strike out against war and all the damage it causes. Although Ana says, "there's no such thing as child soldier in Croatia . . .There is only a child with a gun."
The story is fast paced, and I can imagine it as a movie. I listened to the audio version and found it well done. The author will never listen the audio version as she is deaf. I look forward to reading more of her work as she is a an excellent writer.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.