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Tell Them I Didn’t Cry by Jackie Spinner This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Since American forces invaded Iraq in 2003, 124 journalists have died there. The story of the journalists' plight in Iraq remained largely untold before this heartfelt memoir about the horrific realities and the difficulties of resuming a normal life.

Jackie Spinner began working for The Washington Post in 1995, reporting primarily financial news. In 2003, she applied for a tour in Iraq and, due to unforeseen circumstances, left with just a week's notice and without the usual month of training. She tells the story of her struggles to stay alive, the difficulty of assimilating into Iraqi culture, and the desire of The Washington Post's Iraqi staff to become more American.

Spinner takes an unbiased approach in her book. She never criticizes the military or reveals her political opinions about the war, which gives the book a different feel than run-of-the-mill Bush-bashing.

The few pages at the end of each chapter (written by Spinner's identical twin, Jenny) are particularly poignant. Jenny tells of the heartache and emptiness experienced by their family as her sister barely survives each day in a war zone. She gives the story more depth as she confesses her constant fear of losing her sister, her best friend.

Despite the tragic deaths of friends and her own near misses, Spinner still fills moments of terror with simple things: baking cookies, a ride on a swing, soccer in the hallways of her hotel. When some may have lost their sanity in the intensity of the moment, Spinner helps others keep their direction.

To call Spinner a hero would be accurate. But considering the feelings she expresses in her book, bestowing this title solely on her would be an insult to those who risked their lives every day, the friends she may never see again, and the people who never return home.

Spinner's story is a rare masterpiece of longing, terror, and kindness. It is an eye-opening trip through a land devastated by bombs, insurgents, and violence. Spinner shows a side of Iraq that few Americans have seen: a side of hope.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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mrs.cunning 08 said...
Sept. 18, 2008 at 5:30 pm:
hey i liked ur story
 
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