Serbian / Serbia
Leto kada sam naučila da letim
(The summer I learned to fly)
Žižković, Dobroslav Bob (illus.)
Beograd: Kreativni Centar, . – 147 p.
Yugoslav Wars | History 1991-1995 | Family | Dispersal | Overcoming the past
White Ravens issue: 2016
Reading age: 12+
One of Serbia’s best-known authors of young adult books broaches a tricky topic in this book. Experiences of the war between Serbia and Croatia in the 1990s remain very present to many Serbian families, though they are rarely spoken of. Jasminka Petrović’s (b. 1960) award-winning book follows bratty Sofija, a thirteen-year-old Belgrade girl, through a summer that she spends with her grandmother in Croatia. While there, Sofija learns she has a Croatian great aunt whom she never knew existed. At once intrigued and angered, she follows her grandma and great aunt’s conversations, which focus on the family torn apart by the war. These conversations not only change the girl’s perspective on her family, but also on her own identity. A difficult situation of family conflict is thus packed into a teen’s summer vacation story, in which the past is almost casually revealed.