I’ve read lots of books about the war in the former Yugoslavia; in fact there are three shelves in my library devoted to it. I am glad to say that one that will go on the top shelf is Kenan Trebincevic’s memoir The Bosnia List.
Kenan was twelve when all hell broke loose in his world. One day he was taking karate lessons with his friends and the very next day they considered him their enemy and wished for his demise. Kenan now lives happily in America but the scars of the war run deep within Kenan’s life. He has come up with a list of the people and places he wants to see on trip to homeland with his elderly father and his older brother. His mother succumbed to breast cancer when they immigrated to the United States. He wants to ask the people who did horrible things during the war why they did and do they have any remorse.
The book in comprised into two parts. His journey during the war and the journey going back to his hometown. As a reader you turn the pages wondering how could a person survive this and still be a normal human being. Kenan considers himself one of the lucky ones during the war considering all of his family survived the war, most were not so lucky.
I always like to think I’m a forgiving person. Someone lies to you and you forgive him or her. It’s that easy. How would you feel if someone dragged your male family members from your house and shot them in front of you? What kind of person would that make you in the future? Could you ever forgive anybody again?
Mr. Trebincevic shows us in a new list that you can forgive and come up with a list of things that people did during the war that were kind. Either way, this is a book that you are going want to put right at the top of your reading list. I’ll even go so far and say that I see this book on every high school reading list and a book literally every person should read. It’s a handbook on being human.