111 pages 3 hours read

Zlata Filipović

Zlata's Diary

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | YA | Published in 1993

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Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo

  • Genre: Diary; nonfiction
  • Originally Published: 1993
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 640L; grades 7-10
  • Structure/Length: Diary entries; 197 pages; approx. 1 hour, 33 minutes on audio
  • Edition Note: Citations in this unit refer to the English translation from Croat by Christina Pribichevich-Zorić, rereleased with a new preface by Zlata Filipović in 2006 by Penguin Books.
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Zlata records her daily life and experiences living in a besieged Sarajevo during the Bosnian War.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: War; descriptions of wartime violence, including catastrophic injury due to artillery bombardment, dismemberment, and sniper fire; death, particularly of children; fire and forcible evacuation from homes; suicidal ideation; though the diaries do not directly describe ethnic cleansing, wartime rape, and genocide, comprehensive study of the Bosnian War includes these topics.

Zlata Filipović

  • Bio: Born in Sarajevo in 1980; left Sarajevo in 1993 for Paris, France, as a refugee and settled in Dublin, Ireland, in 1995 where she has lived since; following the release of her diary to international audiences, Filipović continued speaking out in interviews about her experiences and advocating for international aid for those left behind in Bosnia; attended St. Andrew’s College before going on to graduate from Oxford in 2001 with a BA in human sciences; has continued her work in activism, serving on the Executive Committee of Amnesty International, Ireland, and co-founding the Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW); currently works in the field of documentary filmmaking, and many of her projects relate to topics of human rights
  • Other Works: Works in Writing/Translation: The Freedom Writer’s Diary (preface); Miloŝević: The People’s Tyrant (preface and translation), “Lost in Arizona” in From the Republic of Conscience: Stories Inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Hear Our Voices: Experiences of Conflict Affected Children” in Even in Chaos: Education in Times of Emergency; Works in Film/Documentary: The Farthest; Here Was Cuba; Somebody to Love; Blood of the Irish
  • Awards: Nominated for an Emmy Award for The Farthest