When I Was a Soldier

by Valerie Zenatti and Adriana Hunter

Valérie Zenatti’s memoir of her two-year compulsory service in the Israeli... read more

Valérie Zenatti’s memoir of her two-year compulsory service in the Israeli army offers contemporary, accessible insight into an experience foreign to most American teenagers. A relatively recent French immigrant to Israel, Valérie approaches her military service with trepidation, as it marks her transition to adulthood and a separation from high school friends. Her experiences in training and on the job in military intelligence are interspersed with details of her personal life, including evolving relationships and a painful breakup with a boyfriend. As Valérie matures, she struggles to balance her ambiguous feelings about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with her dedication to her job. Realistically, she never arrives at a perfect solution. (Ages 15–18)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

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