Synopses & Reviews
What is it like to be a young woman in a war?
At a time when Israel is in the news every day and politics in the Middle East are as complex as ever before, this story of one girl's experience in the Israeli national army is both topical and fascinating. Valerie begins her story as she finishes her exams, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves for service with the Israeli army. Nothing has prepared her for the strict routines, grueling marches, poor food, lack of sleep and privacy, or crushing of initiative that she now faces. But this harsh life has excitement, too, such as working in a spy center near Jerusalem and listening in on Jordanian pilots. Offering a glimpse into the life of a typical Israeli teen, even as it lays bare the relentless nature of war, Valerie's story is one young readers will have a hard time forgetting.
The story of one girl's experience in the Israeli national army begins as she finishes her exams, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves for service where strict routines, grueling marches, poor food, and lack of sleep are the norm, but service has its rewards as well. An ALA Notable Children's Book & ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Reprint.
About the Author
Valerie Zenatti was born in Nice on April Fool's Day, 1970. When she was thirteen, she went to live with her parents in Israel. Her experiences with national service inspired When I Was a Soldier. Even now, she doesn't go anywhere without her survival kit--which these days includes a book, a notepad, and a pen. She currently lives with her two children in Paris, where she works as a translator of Hebrew.