“False narratives are often the first shots of war. But these clear-eyed reflections from four Ukrainian teenagers show the truth about war’s personal toll—and the sacrifice and courage to pursue better futures.”
- David Weinstein, Founder, Write the World LLC. Read David's full letter here.
Write the World’s global community of 35,000+ teenage writers from 100+ countries is reflecting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sharing their pieces with one another. Recently, WtW invited Ukrainian teens to write dispatches about their daily lives. This special edition of Write the World Review features the first group of four.
War memoirs by teenage authors are a genre that pits fear against hopeful courage. From The Diary of Anne Frank (1947) to I am Malala (2013), war memoirs demonstrate teenagers’ tenacity to navigate bullets and find paths to survival. Coming of age during bloody conflict irreversibly exposes life’s precariousness. In response, these Ukrainian writers portray remarkable courage: to escape abroad (alone) to pursue their education; to leave behind everything they know and love; and to organize demonstrations in a faraway city to raise awareness for those suffering at home.
False narratives are often the first shots of war. But these clear-eyed reflections from four Ukrainian teenagers show the truth about war’s personal toll—and the sacrifice and courage to pursue better futures. If you're a teacher, please examine our reflection questions and prompts to guide further classroom engagement.
Finally, as with Anne Frank and Malala, writing offers shelter from chaos. A safe harbor to reflect on external havoc and internal pain. These four young Ukrainians are reaching back across the distance that separates them from people and places they love—the divide between comforting past and uncertain future. These writers ask us, as readers, to help bear the weight of the history they are enduring. They take us with them on the crowded train from the familiar to the unknown.
- David Weinstein, Founder, Write the World LLC