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  1. Hello fellow readers,
    My name is Emma Thornton and I’m a freshman here as USB! I am majoring in elementary education, however I specifically want to be an art teacher.

    So far with the book, I truly enjoy reading about the struggles between nations through the eyes of a child. One portion of Part I that really caught my attention was when the family was searching for a doctor to help diagnose Ana’s little sister Rahela. In one portion of this part, Ana described how her mother had difficulty getting a doctor who would actually help them as some would do the minimum before referring them to another doctor. I found the idea of having to go through so many hoops was well depicted with Ana saying her mother had been “taking unpaid sick days from school to navigate the complex web of Communist healthcare…” The cherry on top was the fact that Ana understood it all, or had a good grasp on what was happening despite her age. While reading this I also thought about our own health care system and, with recent events, how it was originally a struggle to get tested for COVID-19 or receive any medical care with the precautionary guidelines in place for most medical centers.

    I would love to see what parts interest the rest of you and which parts stand out the most!
    Hope to read your responses soon,
    Emma Thornton
    World Lit

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Group Members,

    My name is Tamara Pendarvis and I’m a junior here at USCB. My major is sociology and my future career goal is to become a family attorney. So far this class is great and I’m excited to be able to interact with others, talk about the book, and what interests us!

    When I first started reading Girl At War, I instantly got drawn in with the idea that we were reading the book from a 10 year old girls perspective. It was interesting to read how it went from her being a simple ten year old girl to now having to deal with real life issues at hand. One part that stood out to me was when Ana, the ten year old girl, went to the shop to buy cigarettes for her godfather. When she got there, the store clerk asked what kind of cigarettes she wanted. She had to choose between a Serbian and a Croatian. I believe she now have to master the difference between a Serbian and a Croatian, and how it can be encoded in everything from a person’s choice of cigarette brand to the length of a man’s stubble.Her not knowing the difference stood out to me because that was only the first of a whole host of confusing new distinctions that Ana must learn at her young age. Everything was happening so quick that she had to make things she was learning about a daily reality of life. It’ll be interesting to read about how her and her family deals with their daily life during their unforeseen circumstances. I’m excited to read more!

    I’m thrilled to read your guy’s comments about the book and hope you guys are enjoying the book so far!

    Tamara Pendarvis

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tamara,
      I like the example you picked out of how she had to pick between the Serbian and Croatian cigarettes. As she was a child, this was the first time she had to know the difference between the two and that this division would come to be so important in her life. This was a foreshadow to the coming war and that the two would become enemies. This was a very important part of the story and I like that this is what you chose to talk about! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello everyone,
    My name is Megan Spiehs and I am I freshman this year! I am currently undecided but plan to major in sports management later on.

    I thought the way that the book was interesting because it was from the behalf of a small child in a war struck country. As readers we can see how a child would interpret some of the things around her and how this differs from the adults that actually understand what’s going on. In the writing there is contrast from how ana sees the current events and how her parents see it. There is innocence and reality mixed together in a single part of the book. An example I found was when the palace was bombed, and Ana was out and went to see everything. “I arrived home hyper and smelling of fire, swinging the door open with such force that I enlarged the dent, born of similar displays of overzealousness, in the opposite wall. ‘Where were you?’ my mother yelled from her bedroom, sounding frantic” This is an example of how ana’s innocence made her want to look at everything and stayed out when it wasn’t safe. This was an example of her childish curiosity while her mother of course was worried and scared of where she could have been. This is a contrast of how they are both processing the news.

    I look forward to see how you all interpreted the dialogue and how you pick out different things you notice! Thank you!
    Megan Spiehs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Megan,
      I love the part of the story that you chose. I can see that they are similarities from back then and now. Ana being so young and innocent, she doesn’t realize everything that is going on. The way you interpreted this part was great. I understand your point of view of this part more. In this part, it shows how the mother who is much older processes the news and how ten year old Ana is processing it. I’m interested in reading other parts that excites you. Great post!
      Tamara Pendarvis


  4. Hello Tamara, Megan, and other readers!
    As I read through the letters left behind by you all, I really started to see parts of the story in a more clear or defined way. Although we are often reminded when reading, sometimes I forget that our main character, Ana, is just a little girl with no knowledge of what war is apart from what she is experiencing. In Megan’s letter, she points out how because Ana is a little girl, she sees the events happening around her, differently from adults such as her mother. Her letter really contributed to me noticing the clear division between the views of a curious little girl and a mother who is worried sick about the present and future. When it comes to listening in on the news, Ana watches out of curiosity or simply to watch while he mother will stop everything to listen out of eagerness and interest.
    I was unable to fit this into my first letter so I will squeeze it here that the author does an amazing job in describing Ana’s innocence, her inability to fully comprehend what is happening around her while also showing that she wants to understand but through the means of what a child can do, such as watching what is around her and remembering things told to her.
    I enjoyed reading everyone’s letters and hope to read more of what you guys think soon,
    Emma Thornton
    World Lit


  5. Hello Tamara, Megan, and other readers!

    Unfortunately at the time of writing there are no additional posts for me to respond to, so I hope I can reply to you guys later this evening. I can’t wait to read what you guys think so far! As for my own opinions, it is very clear that near the ends of the book Ana really is struggling with the fact her childhood has been shadowed by war and disputes between those who she knows and loves. It’s always so heartbreaking to remember there are children who must watch their country be broken apart by war and corruption, and that this will change them forever.

    When finding a representation, I knew I wanted it to be from the perspective of a child, through the eyes of innocence, so I chose this piece as my representation following the tone of the story. The piece* shows that children’s minds truly are changed by war, it impacts them so much deeper than what is seen on the surface. Children will grow up remembering the days of unrest and nights of anxiety. War sucks the life out of people, adults and children alike. The tone of Girl at War shows that it’s so heartbreaking children are exposed to the chaos of war, the effects of growing up around war are so depressing, stressful, and life changing. The artwork I chose shows that by “looking at the mind” of a child who has likely seen war, and by the facial expressions of the child show sadness and uneasiness. It hurts to know even now, kids go through this.

    *This art work is titled “Children of War” by artist Jjfez

    I know this well exceeded the word count asked for, but thank you for taking the time to read my post if you made it this far!

    Best wishes and hope to hear from you all soon,
    Emma Thornton
    World Lit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Group Members,

    I hope you guys are enjoying being in this group posting our opinions as much as I do! This book has become very interesting to me. I love how we each brought out different parts of the book to discuss. I like how Emma added in the reality of now with COVID-19. I thought that was a good point because back then it was hard to find a good doctor and with everything that is going on now, it’s no better. Megan made a good point of how the mother and Ana have different viewpoints on the situation as well. For me, the book is great. I believe the author did a good job portraying this book from Ana’s point of view.

    For my representation I wanted a music video because after reading the book, I wanted to have more of a visual approach. The video I chose was “Girl” by SYML. I chose this video because I believe it represents Ana being a girl at a young age. It shows how she’s carefree but still has the strength and curiosity to get through anything. It reveals the innocence she has at her age and how she could have once viewed her childhood.

    The link to the video is:

    Thank you guys for reading my post and I hope you enjoyed my representation!

    Tamara Pendarvis


  7. Hi everyone!

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and I think they have been really beneficial as I finished up the book! Emma, I like how you pointed out how the author was able to write in a way that showed Ana’s innocence. This really puts focus on the author’s word choice and how the writing styles differ from different times in Ana’s life. I also thought it was important how Tamara mentioned the differences she would have to be able to recognize from then on. The difference between Serbian and croation could mean life or death and she had the learn the differences so early on.

    For my representation, I chose a poem called Children of War by William Sutherland. The poem compared kids like Ana to being flowers that were tampled and this is represented in the book when Ana lost all her innocence and was fighting at the age of 10 years old. I think the poem is meaningful and shows a lot of common themes from the book. We see these for both Ana and Luka as well as Tomislav. The violence they saw as children would never leave them and it has changed who they are and they lost their hopes and dreams.


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