CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE: Growing Up in a War Zone by Maria Ousseimi

CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE: Growing Up in a War Zone

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Five chapters about the lives of children growing up in five war zones--Bosnia, El Salvador, Lebanon, Mozambique, and Washington, D.C. The text is organized around quotes from interviews with children. For the most part, these quotes are just long enough to relate a snippet of an emotion or an opinion, too short for factual information or to tell a story. Ousseimi provides context in her accompanying observations and in the brief history of each war that is worked into its chapter. The narrative is most effective when she sticks to this division of labor: remaining dry and factual; leaving the emotions to the victims. When the distinction is blurred (particularly in the chapters on Bosnia-Herzegovina and Washington, D.C.), the book reads like a pamphlet. This shortcoming is not all that serious; the text frames the b&w pictures that appear on almost every page of children in war zones, and these are breathtaking, conveying in many cases what words cannot.

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1995
Page count: 120pp
Publisher: Walker