American teens had to spend two years in military service when they reached 18 years old?
This is the way of life in Israel. When I Was a Soldier by Valerie Zenatti, is a memoir of her (yes, she is a girl – both men and women serve the mandatory military service in Israel) experience as a new adult in the Israeli army, Tsahal. She has just taken her exams to graduate from school, her boyfriend has moved away (and broken up with her), and her friends are not yet 18, so they do not have to leave for the army yet. This is a Batchelder Honor Book. The Batchelder Award is given to a publisher who has published a book originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States. Zenatti wrote this book in French.
Her time in service was in the late 1980s, but with the new fighting going on in Israel, this autobiography is a timely read for the new year.
Kris Woods, Media Specialist, M.A. Teasley Middle School