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  1. Hello all,
    My name is Brycen and I am a second-year student studying communications at USCB. I first read Girl at War last year in English 101, and I felt it to be a very digestible adaptation of life in 1990’s Croatia. The book follows a young girl, Ana, and her struggles through a war-ravaged childhood home. The story also heavily leans into the nature of human companionship, and the fears we all carry about being alone. As for my specific interpretations of the book’s themes, I find many references to the true value of human life.
    The ESPN documentary Once Brothers follows a similar trail in this respect; fittingly, as it surrounds 1990’s Eastern Europe as well. It tells the story of Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic’s friendship in the early 90’s as basketball superstars in their respective countries, and their eventual falling out. Life is full of ironies, and Once Brothers highlights that to an extreme. Vlade had to mourn Drazen’s death with the knowledge that their friendship was never repaired, and that it now never will be.
    Best,
    Brycen Taylor

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey y’all,
    My name is Keylea Gray. I am from a small country town in the middle of nowhere in Missouri. I am a first-year student at USCB. I hopefully am going to be a nursing major and get my bachelor’s degree.
    I find “Girl at War” very intriguing and eye-opening of what was happening across Croatia in the 1990s. The whole book is about a girl named Ana and how she navigates life through war. In chapter six it talks about Vukovar had fallen and what that meant for them. Refugees were flooding the streets hoping for shelter, food, or a familiar face. Ana’s family lets a refugee in their loving home to have a meal and some shelter for a little bit and got some insight into what happened in Vukovar. I feel as if the chapters helps you understand more of what’s happening in the war outside of family and city.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Groupies!

    My name is Morgan Hylton, I am a third-year student at USCB, studying business management. I have not studied literary analysis much since high school, so please forgive me if my thoughts vary from the analytical standpoint at times.

    One of the things about the first part of Girl at War that stuck out to me was the age of the main characters. Living in a country that was developing into war at such a young age must’ve been quite troubling. The curiosity and depth of understanding these young children have is astounding. There is a point in the book telling about Ana and Luka having conversation about space adventures and things normal children would talk about. Soon after they find their conversations to be about war, and death. Ana often asks her parents to tell her more, or overhears some of their conversation. Her parents always stop themselves from saying too much. They end conversations quickly, turn off the television, or hide the newspaper before Ana can really understand what is going on. Yet, Ana seems to be the one who is experiencing this war more first hand. Hiding in shelters away from home, seeing buildings being burned to the ground, and hearing the harsh talk of neighbors. It makes me ask the question of how much I would tell my young child if I were in her parents’ shoes? I find that the first part of Girl at War reflects on the outcome of communication; the teacher drawing the map of where the shelters were and the constant reference to “the string” that communicates throughout the neighborhood. It is important to inform, for it feels as though you have done something rather than nothing for another. To be prepared together.

    (Note: I tried to make a post a few hours ago, but it somehow got deleted. This is my revised version of this blog post.)

    Until next time,
    Morgan Hylton

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Brycen and Keylea and possible Taylor, B. #2,

    I really enjoyed reading both of your blog post and noticing how they were different and alike. Keylea, I like how you toned in on one chapter and described what is was about and how you saw it. I think this book reflects a lot on Ana’s family and city, but like you said this chapter shows the war outside of her family and the city. Brycen, I think you probably have a more unique understanding of this book because you have read it from an English class point of view and a world literature (which is what I think this mixed class blog is all about). I agree with you in saying how this book “leans into the nature of human companionship, and the fears we all carry of being alone.” I think this is even more so true in the time of war they are facing. You know that if two ten-year old’s are talking about the possibility of dying in this war, everyone else is scared of it too. Nobody ever really knows if they will be waking up the next day, which is why it is so important to embrace every day we have.
    Until next time, ‘
    Morgan Hylton – World Litt.

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  5. Greetings once again,

    After reading all of your responses here, I realize that perhaps I did not go into as much detail into the book as I necessarily should have in order to give you guys something to work off of. I can’t say I feel bad though, as I am horrible at remembering anything I’ve read when I need to.
    Anyways, Morgan, I feel that your questioning of Ana’s parents’ perspectives is a very interesting one. Is a parent in that part of the world capable of painting a pretty picture of the world for their child? Is it even ethical to do so? I suppose I certainly wouldn’t know.
    Keylea, your mentioning of the refugee that stays with Ana’s family is something I took note of when I first read the book as well. I found that his inclusion provided the reader with some much needed worldbuilding, and it portrayed how tragic their country’s situation really is.
    Until next post,
    Brycen

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  6. Howdy to Brycen, Morgan, and maybe Taylor B.#2,
    I found it really interesting how everyone perceived the book both the same and different. Morgan looks at it from the whole of part one, as Brycen looked at from the entirety of the book. I really enjoyed how Morgan explain how her parents tried to suppress her learning more about the war. I think you did a very well job of explaining how effective it really was by saying how she was experiencing it first-hand. Another thing, I appreciated how to put yourself in the parent’s shoes and wondered what you would do. Brycen really gave perspective on how the book comes all together in the end, which I am very thankful for. I do agree that it heavily leans into the nature of human companionship for example when you look at Ana and Luka’s friendship.
    See y’all later,
    Keylea Gray

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  7. Hey again,
    It has been a bit of a challenge to find a piece of media that accurately parallels the events of Girl at War, but perhaps I found something adequate. The song “The Blanket of Night” by Elbow (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1dVWaaUNSA) portrays a similar theme of escapism and desire for a better living situation as Girl at War. “Carry her, carry me from the place we were born to the land of the free” obviously has a parallel to Ana leaving her home to move to the United States for a better life. Hopefully this is more or less what was asked of me for this blog post.
    Thanks for reading, friends.
    Brycen

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  8. One last time group!
    So, this might be a little too easy of an example, but it really is true! I’d like to compare Girl at War to our last read in World Literature, Exit West. The coming of soon teen age of the young girl, and the coming adulthood for the two main characters in Exit West. Both books have the detailed stories of how their cities and families were changed and shaped by the war around them. Oddly enough they both ended back up in the United States too. Both showing the personal / mental growth of the characters in the search for something better.

    I enjoyed reading everyone’s post.
    Thanks for participating,

    Morgan

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  9. To our final adventure,
    It was remarkably interesting reading your responses, understanding different points of view, and learning from upperclassmen. I am going to compare Girl at War with The Diary of the Young-Girl. I am comparing the nonfictional diary of Anne Frank because in my opinion they kind of went through the same thing simply different times of their lives. Anna went through living through the war at a younger age but instead of targeting a certain religion, they targeted a certain ethnic group. Both families were trying to suppress their knowledge of the war and what was truly happening to girls. The big difference between the two lives is that Anne Frank was a real person who went through a terrible war and unfortunately was unable to make it. Anna from Girl at War was able to go to America and make a better life for herself.
    Thank you for your time,
    Keylea Gray

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