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CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE by Maria Ousseimi

CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

Growing Up in a War Zone

By Maria Ousseimi

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1995
ISBN: 0-8027-8363-5
Publisher: Walker

 Five chapters about the lives of children growing up in five war zonesBosnia, 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. (index) (Nonfiction. 10+)