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  1. Greetings from afar, fellow social distancers.
    My name is Emma, I’m an art major aiming to produce some form of art- animation, comic, video game, or otherwise- that tells a story and brings people joy, or some other great emotion. I like to think that I am good at analyzing literature as I’ve done well in AP Literature and regular English courses in the past. I made the mistake of buying an audiobook initially, Thinking it would come with the written format as well, but after listening to the first chapter I feel there are parts that may not have been interpreted the same way solely in text format, and therefore are no worse off for the purchase. (I am buying a text copy nonetheless for citing purposes). The first chapter for the most part feels not very foreign at all. Traveling to the coast for summer. Being quite young and spending most of the summer with friends, not wanting to waste it. Watching the TV, and not understanding the importance of what was being shown. Adults not wanting their children to lose their youth too soon. Even the feud growing between the Serbian children and the Croatian children did not feel foreign, as there have always been some children in school like our main character who do not see people as different, and there have always been children who do see that difference, because their families are very expressive in their opinions of those differences, the children often parroting their parents. The part that felt most foreign to me was the reality of the situation. Rather than a distant threat of war in a foreign country on the TV, the threat was being spread verbally, locally, quickly. To see the actual bomber planes fly close overhead and to seek out a bomb shelter. The closest I have felt to this was going to my neighbor’s basement when a tornado siren went off, knowing that the tornado was never coming close to our town, but fearing the worst regardless. To me, safety is familiar. Danger is foreign.

    E. Montgomery, World Lit.

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  2. Hello all! I hope everyone is staying safe during this global pandemic. My name is A’Landria, I am a freshman at USCB majoring in Communications. I have always liked English, my favorite subject since elementary school. When I took AP Language in high school , if I could remember we did do some analyzing , but not much however I do like analyzing.
    Girl at War is an interesting piece to read so far, very different reading style. It channels war, fear, childhood, and mainly real-life situations. As I read through part one towards the end, there was one sentence out of a few that really made me reread. “The realization that my parent’s, too, felt pain and fear freighted me more than any strangers could” (Novic 85). That sentence stood out to me because what Ana is thinking is honestly true, I feel that everyone can possibly relate to that. As a younger child, I turned to my parents after watching scary movies on Halloween, going on the Ferris wheel or any else fear that I felt. I view my parents as the strongest people I know even till this day the age I am. Strong not only in a mental stance but physical viewpoint also. As a child since Ana is young here, you see your parents as honestly superheroes who protect you from any and everything. For her to see her parents in that state caused an emotion of fear and not to mention during this they can’t comfort her as if they would if a thunderstorm was to happen. Ana’s parents can’t control the war and the effects it is causing on the family that is why it frightens her than anything in the world.

    A’Landria H, English 101.

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  3. Hello everybody, my name is Kyle Hageman and I am a freshman at USCB as a Nursing major. English has always been one of my least favorite subjects but when it comes to writing I do not mind it. Although I do not remember analyzing in high school, but I do not mind analyzing.
    So far when it comes to Girl at War is very interesting to me because when it comes to war books and movies they tend to grab my attention. It gives you a real perception on war and how scary it truly can be. As I read through this book I tended to steer away from the sad and acknowledge the positive/the beautiful or at least I tried to. One part that particularly stuck to me was “An unsteady cameraman jumped a ledge to get a better view as a Serbian plane spiraled toward the sea, its engine on fire and blending with the late September sunset. Then to the right, a second plane ignited in midair” (28). This picture is painted perfectly in my head and frankly sounds like a very good view as well as a peaceful view. I personally think this sentence was important because it helped to give you little more of a positive mindset and more peaceful sight of things. Another thing that stuck with me while reading was the conversation between her mother and her about homework “Did you finish your homework?”(mother 72), “I don’t have to since I’m not going to school tomorrow”(Ana 72). I relate to this because I have had this exact conversation with my mother because of Covid-19. School had gotten cancelled yet she was still on me about my homework. To me I think that foreign should not be taken lightly for the simple reason that it is the unknown. Foreign can be scary because there is no telling if they act different, believe in different things, there is just no way to tell. For that simple fact the unknown is scary, no doubt about it and I can’t even imagine how Ana and her family were feeling going through all this.

    Kyle Hageman, English 101

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  4. Hello all, it is me again Kyle Hageman.
    After reading everything in this blog group it opened my eyes to some things I may not have thought of. One being from A’Landria when this was said “The realization that my parent’s, too, felt pain and fear freighted me more than any strangers could” (Novic 85). You preceded to talk about how you thought your parents are the strongest people you know and this must have been frightening. This comment from the text that you found was a very good one to include and gives a brief insight on how scary it really was at this time. As a whole I I believe your view on the book is similar to mine in the sense the scary will always stick with you and out way the good. This is a sad reality in life and is interpreted very well in this book and gets the point across very well. I also like how they made the blog personal because personal experiences and or stories help to see things through their point of view instead of just your own.

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  5. Hello! I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. Reading Emma’s comment about the first chapter not being foreign at all because we are all familiar with traveling and being young. We can all relate to those memories that will always be a part of us. What I really liked about Emma’s comment was “To me, safety is familiar. Danger is foreign”. Danger is to be unknown because it can come from anywhere, anyone, or anything. However, safety is bounded to us just like practice drills in school for natural disasters, just like Emma told, “…knowing that the tornado was never coming close to our town but fearing the worst regardless.,” you fear what is unknown. With Kyle’s comment, I really liked how it said the line “An unsteady cameraman jumped a ledge to get a better view as a Serbian plane spiraled toward the sea, its engine on fire and blending with the late September sunset. Then to the right, a second plane ignited into midair” (Novic 28). Kyle’s comment was my exact thought of how laid out this sentence was. It painted out a vivid picture in mind as if I am present. A lot of Novic’s novel illustrates and helps you gain a better feel mentally and emotionally. I believe authors who illustrate through chapters in a book really gains the reader’s attention because of the emotional feel that the reader can either emphasize or sympathize.

    A’Landria H, English 101.

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  6. Greeting everyone!
    For my representation of how I view Girl at War I at once thought of this image, (link below). I picked that photo because in it is a little girl’s shadow who is standing in light that shines on her, however everything around her is dark. My meaning of how this novel and photo is connected on a deeper meaning. The little girl stands for Ana who is growing up during a war, her sister being sick, drills and many more. Those obstacles are the darkness that is around her those things she can but cannot see. The darkness is symbolic because those are troubling situations that are hard. The light that shines upon the little girls’ shadow is the pathway. In the light is the next step that awaits Ana and to show no matter what the darkness may bring, the light, the pathway is the way out.
    https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/little-girl-standing-sun-between-two-111546839
    Alandria H, English 101.

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  7. Greetings from someone who Did Not Read Enough For The First Comment (read up to chapter 2, not part 2)
    Now that ive ACTUALLY read what i was supposed to, my opinions of the book have not necessarily changed but been better informed. (funny how added context will do that).
    Alandria focused her comment on the parent/child dynamic, from the perspective of the child. Reading that part myself, i thought of the parents and how they would be struggling to care for children in such a troubling and dangerous time. The mixed feelings of relief and grief they must have felt to send away their youngest to receive medical treatment, the extreme fear and slightest ounce of hope in hatching a last second plan to, god willing, allow your child to survive in a world that at the time may have caused some to question if surviving was worth it.
    Kyle spoke about the setting itself, and the imagery described. While i agree that the stunningly described moments such as the one caught on camera are beautiful, i believe this is also due in part to how bleakly the town is described, with the refugees and sandbags sort of putting my image of Zagreb into greyscale. Not boring, but drained of life.
    E. Montgomery, World Lit.

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  8. Greetings Mandatory Book Club Members
    Reading Kyles comment about the beautiful and peaceful appearance of the planes being shot down brought a very specific image to mind. The perks of being an art major is having to take lots of art history classes and discovering many beautiful yet macabre pieces of art. I was reminded of The Slave Ship, by J. M. W. Turner, which i will provide a picture of at the end of this comment. In my memory alone, the picture was a galleon whose sails were on fire in a turbulent sea at sunset. The actual image has no fire, but the ship still is seemingly set ablaze by the sunset and the choppy pre-typhoon waters are filled with the bodies of those dead or near so. I feel like this image is similar to the story in that the focal point is the sunset and the ship, beautiful and bright, like the scenes caught on camera in the story, while the surroundings which are dully colored hold the truth seen second: the hundreds of dead. Massacres were occurring in Yugoslavia but the cameras showed the destruction of the landscape, not the destruction among the people. Ana herself makes a comment on this, while watching the TV the day Vukovar fell, saying “Somewhere, someone was screaming. The camera jerked up and away, capturing instead a collapsing church steeple.” (Novic, 43). Even when i first read this sentence, my focus was on the word instead. As if Ana had expected the camera man to show where the scream had come from, because her concern was not for the landscape, or any historical cathedrals, but for the people.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Slave_Ship
    i am providing the wiki link to the page because it includes the original, longer name, as well as an idea of the size and time frame of the painting.
    E. Montgomery, World Lit.

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  9. Hello everyone,
    For my representation of the book Girl at War I picked this photo(link below). I picked this picture because it is exactly what comes to mind when I read through this book. For the simple fact of I think of a little girl going through possible the worst experience of her life. In the picture the girl is crying which hints to the fact that they are sad and are going through it. This photo has a deep meaning of sadness and loneliness which is experienced in the book. In the photo you also see another little girl that seems to be scared as well and this helps to show that Ana was not the only little girl going through this. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7a/7e/31/7a7e3109eef525abf6a952363206fb96.jpg

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