Children's War Diaries as Agents of Peace

Marija Todorova*, Kathleen Ahrens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Literature for children plays an active role in the promotion of a culture of peace. This is particularly true of children's literature in the format of a child-written diary that describes the traumatic events of war. Using the testimonial response method, this article analyses three war diaries written by young girls, two from Bosnia and one from Singapore, published in English language for young readers. By bearing witness to the lived experiences of individuals who have encountered significant hardship, readers can cultivate an empathetic understanding of historical events and the human capacity for resilience. The analysis also explores how first-person literary narratives, while representative of the trauma of war, can also be used to promote and teach about the importance of peace by making sense of history, bearing witness to traumatic emotions, and empowering the youth to seek peace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalBookbird: Journal of International Children's Literature
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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