The Program for/about Kids and Teens  “When the War Is Not Only in Books”

The Program for/about Kids and Teens “When the War Is Not Only in Books”

Curated by Yuliia Kozlovets

The question “Should we talk to children about the war?” is no longer before us, adults. We all are living in the war now. War always brings fear, chaos, and uncertainty. It destroys homes and daily routines and forces us to revise our priorities and look for strength in the most unusual things and places. Our children see war with their own eyes and need honest answers to their questions about this reality. They have many questions, and it is not always easy to find the answers…

Book Arsenal 2023, with its Program for/about Kids and Teens, offers a safe and friendly space for communication, reading, and discussion of children’s books and stories that are written and published in wartime.

Books and good texts can help start a conversation on difficult topics, choose the right tone, reflect on a traumatic experience, and understand and survive it. Opening up possibilities that have no limits, books can immerse us and our children in other times, countries, and worlds where we can all feel safe and far from war. Books and stories tell about characters who overcome difficulties, about friendship and mutual support, and about small victories that make the world a better place. They create the conditions when children can feel that their own feelings and experiences are important, heard, and understood.

It is extremely important to choose THAT VERY book — in order not to deepen the child’s trauma, not to get confused in too complicated language or twists and turns of the plot, to help find the right words to describe one’s emotions, to cope with stress, to get in the mood, and to read for pleasure.

And who can better tell about their books, and motivate you to read and fall in love with them, if not the authors themselves? Live Readings with Barabuka is a marathon of authors’ readings by favorite children’s writers! And the performance Knyhodruziachennia-Peredbachennia organized by the Book Arsenal together with the Children’s Reading Laboratory at the Junior Academy of Sciences, will bring together authors and their grateful readers in the festival hall.

We all need such texts that will support us on the way to our Victory. Let’s search, write, publish, and read such texts. Let’s talk about what hurts, call war, war, enjoy children’s laughter, mourn our joint losses, hug our good friends, read aloud, collect books for destroyed libraries being rebuilt after de-occupation, and make holiday reading lists. Let’s rejoice because, thanks to our defenders, we can be together, in Kyiv, at the Book Arsenal, even in times when the war is not only on the pages of books.

Program partner: BaraBooka. The space for the Ukrainian children’s books.
The program is implemented with the support
of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, SCBWI