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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Children of War is a collection of short stories written by fourteen different authors as “an anthology to support the children of Ukraine”. Each author has contributed one original piece of work and all connect through the common theme of war, with a specialized emphasis on the impact war has on children. The genres of the stories vary and range from the fantasy story Jonah by C. Borden, in which a young man lost everyone he cared for in a violent, horrific slaughter and finds his body collapsing while his mind belatedly processes the trauma, to The War Legacy by Nandita Pant Joshi, a work of literary fiction that revolves around a war widow named Sarah who finds that she is pregnant on the same day she learns of her husband's death. This is the story of their relationship and an uncertain future with love and hope that she is unable to comprehend.
As someone who was born and raised in a third-world country, a country that is younger than my own father, and who had no understanding of life where violence was not a constant daily threat, I was particularly touched when I saw Children of War and read the intent behind it. Trauma is real, it is absolutely terrible, and the effects it has even when a child has grown and is two decades removed are always there. It haunts. Through the Eyes of a Child by Pam Floyd was the story that resonated most with me. Any child survivor of war will connect to the pain and confusion of Daniela, has at least one childhood friend like Misha, who lost a piece of her body as an innocent bystander, and jumps at a slammed door when it thumps like a bomb. All the stories are written to a high standard and are distinctive in their own voices. All the proceeds go to charities that support impacted children and I cannot imagine a more worthy cause. Very highly recommended.