Synopses & Reviews
I feel that I have been sleeping all my life and I have woken up and opened my eyes to the world. A beautiful world! But impossible to live in.
These are the words of fifteen-year-old Hadiya, blogging from the city of Mosul, Iraq, to let the world know what life is really like as the military occupation of her country unfolds. In many ways, her life is familiar. She worries about exams and enjoys watching Friends during the rare hours that the electricity in her neighborhood is running.
But the horrors of war surround her everywhere—weeklong curfews, relatives killed, and friends whose families are forced to flee their homes. With black humor and unflinching honesty, Hadiya shares the painful stories of lives changed forever. “Let’s go back,” she writes, “to my un-normal life.”
With her intimate reflections on family, friendship, and community, IraqiGirl also allows us to witness the determination of one girl not only to survive, but to create, amidst the devastation of war, a future worth living for.
"Hadiya's authentically teenage voice, emotional struggles and concerns make her story all the more resonant." —Publishers Weekly
“Despite all the news coverage about the war in Iraq, very little is reported about how it affects the daily lives of ordinary citizens. A highschooler in the city of Mosul fills in the gap with this compilation of her blog posts about living under U.S. occupation. She writes in English because she wants to reach Americans, and in stark specifics, she records the terrifying dangers of car bombs on her street and American warplanes overhead, as well as her everyday struggles to concentrate on homework when there is no water and electricity at home. Her tone is balanced: she does not hate Americans, and although she never supported Saddam Hussein, she wonders why he was executed... Readers will appreciate the details about family, friends, school, and reading Harry Potter, as well as the ever-present big issues for which there are no simple answers." —Hazel Rochman, Booklist
“IraqiGirl has poured reflections of her daily life into her blog, reaching all over the cyber-world from her home in northern Iraq. She writes about the universals of teen life—school, family, TV, food, Harry Potter—but always against the background of sudden explosions, outbursts of gunfire, carbombs, death.… [A]n important addition to multicultural literature.” —Elsa Marston, author of Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories About Teens in the Arab World
“A book as relevant to adults as teenagers and children. Hadiya’s clear, simple language conveys the feelings of a teenager, offering a glimpse into the daily life of a professional middle-class Iraqi family in an ancient-modern city subjected to a brutal occupation.”
—Haifa Zangana, author of City of Widows: An Iraqi Woman's Account of War and Resistance
"Sullivan gets it right."--The Horn Book
"...captures the resilience and hope that keep [Cassie's family] going."--Publishers Weekly
"Ms. Sullivan's book is bold and lovingly written."--David Mamet, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright
I forgot what peace looks like. What the street looks like. What the sky in the night look like. What my relatives look like. Sometimes I just think that if you could see what my eyes see, if you could hear what my ears hear, you would be able to understand what I mean.
These are the words of IraqiGirl, a teenage girl blogging from the city of Mosul, Iraq, as the chaos and violence of military occupation unfold in the aftermath of the American invasion. In a narrative charged with anger, IraqiGirl wants her readers to understand what life is really like under military occupation. "Let's go back,"she writes, "to my un-normal life."And here IraqiGirl allows us to discover a story the Western media rarely allow us a glimpse of: the story of how the Iraq War has shattered lives and broken hearts. But we also discover, in her personal reflections on family, friendship, and community, the resilience of one girl to not only survive, but to discover, amidst the devastation of war, a future worth living for.
As she writes: "For the sake of the smile that was given to no one but me, for the sake of my grandpa and for the sake of my country and for the sake of my religion and for the sake of my God . . . I want to know my destination."
IraqiGirlwas fifteen years old when she began blogging from her home city of Mosul, Iraq, in July 2004. The book follows her story through 2007. Presently IraqiGirl attends college and continues to struggle for a better future. The address for her blog is http://iraqigirl.blogspot.com.
In a country torn apart by war, a teenage girl blogs her story of family, friendship, and life under American occupation.
A timely, eye-opening novel showing how war affects families on both sides
Ever since her brother Sef left for Iraq, Cassie has felt like her life is falling apart. Her parents are fighting over her brother having gone to war. Her smart, beautiful sister is messing up. Her little brother, who has Down syndrome, is pretending he's a Marine. And her best friend no longer has time for her. In her loneliness Cassie turns to a surprising source of comfort: Blue Sky, an Iraqi girl she meets through her blog. The girls begin a correspondence and Cassie learns that when Blue Sky says "I want my life back," she means something profound, as she can no longer venture out in her destroyed city. Cassie takes strength from Blue Sky's courage and is inspired to stop running away from the pain, and to reclaim her life.
About the Author
Mary Sullivan also wrote Stay and Ship Sooner, and has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award and a St. Botolph Foundation Award.