Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, November 3, 2023

83 Days in Mariupol: a War Diary by Don Brown

83 Days in Mariupol: a War Diary

Don Brown

Clarion Books. Imprints of HarperCollins Publishers. 2023

As the war in Ukraine continues, In this powerful story told in graphic novel format, Brown recounts the suffering, senseless destruction of the 83 days Russia bombed the city of Mariupol that began on February 24, 2022. 

On display is Brown’s ability to convey the events as it happened while incorporating the pain and suffering, the agony, the anger and frustration, and skillfully balances it with the pride and patriotism of a people wondering if their country will survive. 

The city of Mariupol is important to Russia. It sits on the Sea of Azov and is Ukraine’s major shipping port that allows the export of its profitable farm products. For Russia, to capture Mariupol, it means crippling Ukraine’s economy while creating a “land bridge” that would connect Russia forces in the occupied territory of Crimea.”

As he has done in previous books that highlight major incidents that have had a lasting impact on our global landscape, Brown incorporates voices from people who actually were there.

In the prologue, Brown puts into historical context a concise explanation of the centuries old conflict between Russia and Ukraine and what led up to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. 

Included is an afterward, source notes, and several pages of a selected bibliography.

Readers will have a deeper understanding of the patriotism, and grit of the Ukrainian people against long odds. This war will have a lasting impact on Ukraine, as well as, the global landscape.

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