Yeva Skalietska: You Don’t Know What War Is: The diary of a young girl from Ukraine

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Saturday 8 July 2023

5:00 pm


Bantry Library

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'You Don't Know What War Is: The diary of a young girl from Ukraine' is the powerfully moving true story of Yeva Skalietska fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Yeva is coming to Bantry from her new home in Dublin.

Yeva will be in conversation with Sarah Webb

Admission: Free

This is the gripping, urgent and moving diary of young Ukrainian refugee Yeva Skalietska. It follows twelve days in Ukraine that changed 12-year-old Yeva’s life forever. She was woken in the early hours to the terrifying sounds of shelling. Russia had invaded Ukraine, and her beloved Kharkiv home was no longer the safe haven it should have been. It was while she and her granny were forced to seek shelter in a damp, cramped basement that Yeva decided to write down her story. And it is a story that the world needs to hear. It is told in diary form with a foreword by Michael Morpurgo.


Yeva captured the nation’s heart when she was featured on Channel 4 News with her granny as they fled Ukraine for Dublin. In You Don’t Know What War Is, Yeva records what is happening hour-by-hour as she seeks safety and travels from Kharkiv to Dublin. Each eye-opening diary entry is supplemented by personal photographs, excerpts of messages between Yeva and her friends and daily headlines from around the world, while three beautifully detailed maps (by Kharkiv-native Olga Shtonda) help the reader track Yeva and her granny’s journey through Europe. This is a powerful insight into what conflict is like through the eyes of a child and an essential read for adults and older children alike.


‘I wish Yeva Skalietska hadn’t felt the need to write this book but I’m glad that she did – it is exhilarating, shattering, heartbreaking, brilliant… an extraordinary book.’ Roddy Doyle



Yeva Skalietska

Yeva Skalietska is a 12-year-old Ukrainian girl who grew up living with her granny in Kharkiv, near the Russian border. She loves learning languages, bowling, playing the piano and painting....

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Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is an award-winning children’s writer and creative writing teacher. She runs creative writing clubs for children and reviews children’s books for the Irish Independent. She programmes children’s book events for...

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