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Undergraduate Research Journal

Abstract

In her article, “Youth Voices in the War Diary Business,” Susan Honeyman argues that interviews with children and youth – although influenced by the adult population – “resist being reducible simply to war propaganda or protectionist sentimentality” (74). This is especially true for award-winning author and peace activist Deborah Ellis, whose recent nonfiction – Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees (2009), Off to War: Voices of Soldier’s Children (2008), and Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children (2004) – tend to lack “imposing adult interpretation” (Honeyman 82). While this may be accurate within the work of Ellis as well as the realm of private journaling, most, if not all, published children’s/youth diaries are significantly tainted by adult propaganda and protectionist influences – from their initiation clear through the editing process. The following essay will consider this influence, whether intentional or otherwise, beginning with society’s questionable definition of a “child.” Then, by examining a collection of recently-published war diaries, it will be determined how these influences ultimately remove a side of the war story in the attempt to protect ourselves from facing the true horrors of worldly conflict.

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