Boys diary: 10 Best Kids’ Diaries to Encourage Journaling

Lesson: Learn the History: Deportations in an Anonymous Boy’s Diary

Learning Objectives

In this lesson students will gain an understanding of the final liquidation of the Łódź ghetto. Through reading diary entries from the Anonymous Boy and examining other historical sources from the period, students will have the opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of his diary entries in the context and character of the moment.

Educators and students are encouraged to read the introduction to the Anonymous Boy’s diary in Salvaged Pages, pages 361–68, before beginning the lesson. It provides valuable information about the writer’s life and a historical context for a reading of the diary. 

Overview

This lesson was initially drafted by Holocaust educator Lisa Bauman.

Core diary entries from Salvaged Pages used in this lesson: Anonymous Boy, ​August 3, 1944

In May 1944, the Anonymous Boy began writing a diary in the Łódź ghetto. That spring the Nazis decided to destroy the ghetto, which was by then the last ghetto remaining in Poland, and deport the last remaining Jews.1 Deportation from the Łódź ghetto occurred throughout its existence with several periods of mass roundups and deportations of adults and children. With the Allied forces landing on the beaches of Normandy (D-Day) in early June 1944 initiating the liberation of Western Europe, and the Red Army continuing its advance in the East, the Nazi urgency to erase all evidence of crimes perpetrated against Jews became ever more pressing.

Focus Questions

  • How does the Anonymous Boy’s diary add to our understanding of the final months of the war and the importance of documenting the Jewish experience?
  • What do we learn about the climate in which the Anonymous Boy writes his diary? 
  • What can we learn about how humans experience vulnerability, frailty, anger, and compassion from the diary of the Anonymous Boy?  
  • What is the purpose of reading such intimate descriptions of people’s experiences during the Holocaust?

Activities

Opener: Read an Entry from the Anonymous Boy

Begin by reading the following entries from the Anonymous Boy’s diary:

6/6 1944 [D-Day, the Allied landing in Normandy; in English]

Today the news of the . . . . . . . . penetrated into the Getto. Who knows?2

7/6 1944 [in English]

It is true, the fact [of the Allied landing] has been accomplished, but shall we survive? Is it possible to come out of such unimaginable depths, of such unfathomable abysses?3 [June] 9, 1944 [in English]

We are quite at sea about what is taking place, only roumouring and canarding—I am very hungry. I have to b[e] five days without the ration of bread because I finished it, as alas I usually do during three days. God be in our help.4

26/6 1944 [in Hebrew]

I am writing these lines in a terrible mental state. Twenty-five thousand of the remaining inhabitants of the Litzmannstadt ghetto are slated for deportation. Every day about five hundred people leave the ghetto. We would be happy if we knew that our brethren were destined for work, for being slaves. . .because if so. . .Can we believe that despite promises of work they won’t be sent to a fate that they already meted out to millions of our brethren?  They say the transport wagons returned after eleven hours. Some say one thing, others another. This one cried and that one cried, and I belong to the generation that “merited” this! Woe to the world in which children like my little twelve-year-old sister have to ponder matters of life and death!5

Reflect upon the sequence of these entries. What is he describing? How do events outside of the ghetto filter into his entries? 

Read with your students the summary of the history of the Łódź ghetto and watch the animated map of the Łódź ghetto, both from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). Students may also find it helpful to review a general timeline of 1944 and World War II from the USHMM.

Main Activity: Close Reading for Historical Understanding—The Final Deportations from the Łódź Ghetto

View the images of the Anonymous Boy’s diary below.

 

Photograph of the last entry, written in English, from the diary of an anonymous writer in the Łódź ghetto.

Photograph of the last entry, written in English, from the diary of an anonymous writer in the Łódź ghetto.

Next, closely read the Diary Entry on Deportation from the Łódź Ghetto, August 3, 1944. Have students choose and share one line that stands out for them. 

Discuss the following questions:

Assessment

Have students select one document from the workstations that they believe enriches their understanding of the August 3, 1944, diary entry from the Anonymous Boy. Have students write a short essay explaining their reasoning and how the document corroborates with the diary entry. Students may cite other source materials, but the focus of their essay should be based on one document.

Extensions

Deeper Exploration: Workstation Exercise

Students can gain a deeper understanding of the significance of this entry from the Anonymous Boy by examining supplemental primary sources. Just as historians rely on multiple sources—of different media and of varying usefulness or accuracy—to build an understanding of past events, students can engage in a similar process. They can have the opportunity to collect evidence, make new connections, and deepen their historical content knowledge of the closing months of the Holocaust.

The workstation model is an engaging practice for examining multiple sources. This process involves students circulating around classroom tables and analyzing the primary source materials assembled at each station. These can include documents, video, photographs, testimony, art, and more.

Have students move from table to table and examine the documents at each workstation.

We recommend using the following analysis process for Deportation from the Łódź Ghetto, Letter on the Fate of the Łódź Ghetto, and Announcement of Final Liquidation of the Łódź Ghetto.

  1. Identification:  Attempt to identify the Who, What, Where, and When of the document.  Who was the author? Who was the audience (if it is stated?) What kind of document is it? When was it created or written?

  2. Analysis:  After gathering background information, what was the document’s significance or purpose? What new information does the document contribute to your understanding of the historical moment?6

 

Kingdom: King’s Voice – A Boy’s Diary (Chords + Romanized Lyrics)

Artist: Eunkwang (은광), DK (동혁), Inseong (인성), Hyeonjae (현재), Seungmin (승민), Jongho (종호)

Song: A Boy’s Diary (소년의 일기)
Album: N/A
Year: 2021

Tuning: Standard
Capo: No Capo – Start in Bb

Romanized

[Intro]
Bb  Am  Dm
Gm  Am  Bbm  C


[Verse 1]
F               Bbm
  changmun teum sairo
F            Bbm
  nun bushin haetsari
Dm       Am         Gm  Am     Bb  C
  itgo itdeon jinanareun bichunda
F             Bbm
  seotulgiman han naege
Am        Dm
  niga namgin mandeureun
      Gm   Am       Bb          C
  nal dashi neoreul tteoulligae hae


[Chorus]
         Bb           Am  Dm
gieokhae neowa nae iyagi
      Gm
uriga haetdeon yaksok
     C               F    Eb
areumdawotdeon gobaekdeul
F          Bb   
jeo haneul adeukhan
        Am  Dbdim  Dm
byeolbitdeul    sairo
       Gm
jabeun son nohji aneulge
       Bbm      C
geu eonjengaye uricheoreom


[Interlude]
Bdim  E  Am  Ab  Gm  C


[Verse 2]
F       Bbm
  gidarigo isseo
Am          Dm
  neoraneun baramdeuri
      Gm         Am
  nal dashi chajajugil
        Eb
  boiji andeon gildeo
                       C
  hwanhage deo balkhyeojwo


[Chorus]
         Bb           Am         Dm
gieokhae neowa nae iyagi (geu iyagi)
      Gm
uriga haetdeon yaksok
     C               F    Eb
areumdawotdeon gobaekdeul
F          Bb   
jeo haneul adeukhan
        Am  Dbdim  Dm
byeolbitdeul    sairo
       Gm
jabeun son nohji aneulge
       Bbm      C
geu eonjengaye uricheoreom


[Bridge]
 Dm
oneure taeyangi jigo
    C
jeo neomeoye haru kkeute
    Bb                Am    Abdim
tto nega seo isseosseumyeon

chords by kpopchords. com
Gm                        C
neon naege nameun jeonbunikka
    F   Bbm  Am      Dm
ooh yeah  oh yeah no yeah


[Chorus]
      Gm
uriga haetdeon yaksok
    C                      F  Eb
geu yaksokdeuri nareul kkaewo
F         Bb
jamdeulji anneun jeo
        Am  Dbdim  Dm
byeolbitdeul    sairo
     Gm
eonjena neoreul ganjikhae
        Bbm               Csus4
gyeote isseojulke geuttae neocheoreom


[Outro]
Bb  Am  Dm  Gm  Am  Bbm  C  F

Stream Tory Lanez – Dope Boy’s Diary by Tory Lanez

Can’t front, this shit sounds like “Hood Rocky” & “Boyz “N” Hood” combination shit, lmao, sheeeeit!!! 💪💂💪🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Comment by Mvc

Perfect

Tory lanez underrated he definitely on his grind and Consistent

check out my musix! i’ma product of Tory, Chris, Prince and Kehlani

So good

🔥🔥

tory lanez a real shoota💪🏽💯

We tryna get more than rich🔥

Comment by k

goeshard

Ima keep it short. I got sum Heat 🔥See ma strugle n help me get it 🙏thank u

@user-143368141-469343401

🔥

Comment by MC Q

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Comment by MC Q

REALTALK 111

Comment by MC Q

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Comment by MC Q

x3

Yogot flame

Hey guys I hate self promo and I know im doing it but check out my newest track and tell me if you fw it thx “)

@richkjt Shit Trash

hey guys I know you dont care and if you dont then dont read this but I try really hard to make my song I would appreciate if you checked it out and gave your opinion

Straight Heat This A Hitter

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Comment by leek

Put respect on cuz

on me

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Comment by FloLo

Pls check me out ima 9 year old hood gangsta RAPPER

Yooo

Lil baby om a feature🔥🔥

best overall work in 2020 by anybody so far

Sound like lil baby nfs💯

Tory Lanez – Dope Boy’s Diary Lyrics

Yeah, nothing bigger than the umbrella, yeah, yeah (Perfect)
Just gotta feel me nigga
It’s Tory! (Cannon)

Told my bitch I love her she ain’t say it back
My heart I can’t play with that
Fuck it that’s that, and we made it that
Running through the trap to find my re-up, tryna make it back
BM tripping I’m just tryna cop my son his favorite snacks
Love from the Crip, Bloods, and GDs
Scamming out the bank I made like 50 thou’ on TD
In this trap my homeboys my heart, but shit I gotta move greedy
Got a budget for the lawyer case I lose with this PD (Perfect)
‘Cause we tryna get more than rich, fuck the fame and all the glitz
My bitch ain’t had tits, so I bought her tits
I’m a little older so I mold her ’til I taught the bitch
Boy, I would’ve swore that she was loyal ’til I caught the bitch
I won’t trust a soul
It’s just me and my pole playing position on that road
Watching jack boys close, gun closer than the sirens
See if them boys try me, bitch, I’m opening the fire
Catching bodies like corona in the virus nigga
Weed bought the Rolex, crack bought the bustdown
Trapping did a home run, scamming did a touchdown
Thinking ’bout my son now, know I gotta stay alive
‘Cause I done let him down like 4 times and I can’t make it 5
Cops from a naked eye, watching in a foreign
But we moving neat the DA can’t grant them no warrants (Perfect)
The Birdman with me like Wayne in New Orleans
Raining and pouring, ranging, and warring
Probably lost my bitch to a athlete
Fuck it, I’m ‘a pull up with another bitch, mad fleet
I remember Crystal dem told me I was mad weak
From that day I never let another bitch embarrass me (Perfect)
I had to wear the same drawers
Going out for weeks, a nigga stank, but this shit paid off
Flexing like I owned the rental nigga had to play it off
Hoes I put this dick off in they hole just like I’m playing golf
Anytime I ran up outta work I sold ’em drywall
I was broke and threw it on the scale ’cause I can’t eyeball
Homie I just came from being homeless that’s a sidebar
That’s why with this rap shit I be focused, can’t take time off
Boy, I’m not a killer, but don’t push me that’s on my mama

Got my killers out there swimming in the deep end
‘Fore you knew that nigga drowned ’cause he was deep in
Scarborough, bitch, we playing on the defense
My little niggas catching bodies every weekend
My little shooter made the movie with the sequence
Play with us and we gon’ turn that nigga pretense
In the foreign picked him up from out the precinct
‘Cause he gon’ still put in that pressure ’til the beef ends

I wanna cheat but I’ll probably kill her if she cheat on me
Homicidal thoughts don’t mix with G’s homie
Plus I be with Gs homie, stick hot like 98 degrees homie
Trigger finger itchy like some fleas on me
Sleeping on my nigga’s sofa, sleeping on the floor
I couldn’t even tell a bitch come over
Now it’s all Dior all on my body, like my melatonin
Niggas took the stand, I can’t believe them boys were telling on me
Street shit is hella phony, yeah
Look in my eyes, you see I’m dodging all the demons
Came a long way, from swiping fraud cards at all the Neiman’s (Perfect)
I was plotting and scheming, popping bad bean and
Shit, I thought it then dreamed it, turned it to reality
This your fatality
Killing any nigga saying he got the same style as me
I’m the only rapper saying shit with no apology
Pull up, you could holla b
Your favorite rapper shit, just ain’t as hot as me, Tory, (Perfect) aye

Spitting fire in the booth, Forgiato tires on the coupe
OG’s looking at me like they inspired to be me when I aspired to be you
It’s crazy but it’s true, damn
Yeah, 90310 are running shit, you know what’s going on, nigga
Big U, big umbrella

A Bad Boy’s Diary, 1880

A Bad Boy’s Diary by Walter Gray (Metta Victoria Victor)

Metta Victoria Victor had numerous pseudonyms, gave birth to nine children, and authored over 100 books. In fact, she and her husband invented the American dime novel (the first paperbacks).

In 1880 Victor’s book A Bad Boy’s Diary was published. A Bad Boy’s Diary is about little Georgie Hacket. No matter how hard Georgie tries, he just can’t stay out of trouble. It was the best selling book in the year 1880 and spawned an entire series about Georgie’s misadventures.

While the book is a work of fiction, the context is set in the real world of 1880. This excerpt provides some insight into how important barbecue events were to politics in the 19th century and also in how those events were financed. Little Georgie didn’t have the best grammar or spelling skills and I present the text just as it was originally written by the author. Here is the story of when Georgie and a friend decide to hold their own, private barbecue.

A Bad Boy’s Diary – He Takes Part in the Election

My father has gone to a naboring villedge to hear some grate speker in the open air. He sade the fokes was going to have a barbecue to finish up the fun. I ast him what was a barbecue, and be sade it was rosting an ox hull with plenty of hard cider and uther things to be et and drunk out of dores so as to make it more golly. I. wanted to go along, but he said he would not take such a looking boy besides I had been very bad last night, he woulk leave me behind for a punishment. I felt lonesome, so I whistled for Jonny to clime over the fence wen his mother was not looking and I said ” Johnny, if we had a nox we could have a barbecue all to ourselfs – and wouldn’t that be fun?” He said it would be offul fun, only we had no ox. So then I said: “There is more ways than one to skin a cat – come out behind the barn an I will sho you something, Johnny.”

This was about 4 o’clock. About six my mamma saw something brite shining before she lit the lamps. Everything was all red an as lite as day. She ran to the windo an scremed : “0 Bess, Bess, the stable is on fire!” But she was mistaken. It was only a big fire behind it witch me an Johnny had made to have our own privat barbecue.

It is true that the corner of the cow-shed had got in a blaze, but the nabors put that out. ” The cow is safe,” said Bess, ” but o dear, where is the cunning little calf?” “What’s that?” cried mamma turning pale. “Georgie, you notty, good-for-nothing, cruel boy, tell me this minnit – O you wicked boy !” “It’s only me and Johnny having a barbecue,” I answered. “A what ?” she cride. ” A barbecue, mamma. If big folks roste an ox I should think little ones mite roste a teeny weenty calf. Its most done now-wont you all stay an have a piece? We’ve got a lot of cider, too, out of Johnny’s sellar. Were going to do it up in reglar stile.”

“Did you roste the poor thing alive ?” shrieked my sister. “Why no, Bess, don’t you see we rosted it dead?” Its strange how little some girls know. It was unreasonable for mamma to make such a fuss about a miserable little calf. Johnny was sent home an’ we neither of us got a taste of our barbecue; but papa could stuff down all he wanted, I dare say. I The older I grow the more injustice I see. 

N.B. Johnny told me in a whisper this morning he forgot to turn the fasset back, he was in such a hurry for fear the cook would catch him, so the hull barl of cider ran away. Well, there’s one consolashun. I herd papa say it cost a grate deal of money to eleckt a president. He said he’d been sent some and tole to place it where it would do the most good. I suppose the calf and the cider must go in the eleckshun expenses. All I regret is they were not placed where they wood do most good, cause me and Johnny was not allowed to eat and drink em. We expect to have a lot of fun next week.

Top 10 diary books | Children’s books

The relationship between a diary and a diarist is supposedly a private, sacred affair. A diary’s pages are the ideal place to record your deepest, heart-felt passions or your darkest desires, safe in the knowledge that your diary will take those secrets to the grave. Write whatever you like – it’s all totally secret.

Isn’t it? Err, well no, actually. Because once those thoughts are out of your head and onto the page they can be seen by anybody. They can be found. Which is kind of the whole point of writing something down in the first place, isn’t it? To have it read.

I am fairly unscrupulous. I will hesitate only as long as it takes me to find a comfy chair before I start reading any diary that I happen to stumble upon (or find after hours of searching in my daughter’s bedroom…). Diaries are intriguing. They offer us an insight into someone else’s head. If we’re really lucky they provide reassurance that other people think like we do. The best part about reading a diary (and this applies to reading your own, old diaries) is discovering what the writer of that diary chose to record. What was important to them on that day? Seemingly irrelevant, mundane comments can say a lot about a person, even if it’s that “I had the biggest laugh at school today. Jason was messing about with a Bovril sandwich and somehow it ended up being shoved down my jumper (I hasten to add that it was wrapped in cellophane). I got it out, crawled over to James’ bag and put it inside without him seeing. Everyone else saw – it was well funny.” The unabridged entry goes on for so long that I ended up adding three sides of A4 paper to my diary, so hilarious was the incident of the Bovril sandwich. I was 16-years-old. I was supposed to be revising for my GCSEs.

Books based on diaries give a reader something really special. The feeling that someone is confiding in you; sharing things with you that they would never tell another living soul. There are many fantastic books for children and teenagers with a diary format. These are my top ten, in no particular order as these books are so diverse that it would be impossible to compare them to each other.

Rebecca Westcott’s debut novel Dandelion Clocks is published by Penguin and follows the diary of 11-year-old Liv from thirteen weeks before to six months after the death of her much-loved mum from cancer.

12-year-old Mira’s beloved Nana Josie is dying. There is no doubt about this – Nana has plans to decorate her own coffin and when it arrives on Mira’s birthday it’s clear that Nana hasn’t got long to go. At the same time, Mira joins a writing club at school where she is encouraged to write a diary. The timing is perfect. Things are changing and Mira is suddenly less keen to confide in her best friend. The diary becomes her keeper of secrets. This is a beautiful book, full of what it means to love and be loved. It also contains the sentence I most wish I had written. It’s a sentence that keeps coming back to me and could be the opening line to a thousand different stories. “You can have too much history when you’re only twelve years old.” Sita Brahmachari has created characters that leave you longing to know more about them and their lives.

Mention children’s books based on a diary to most people and this is the first one they’ll think of. Since its first publication in 1947 it has been translated into 70 languages and sold over 30 million copies.

It’s a great example of a diary being written to be read. When Anne first began her diary in 1942, it was intended as a personal journal, for her eyes only. That changed in 1944 when she heard that the Dutch government was looking to collect letters and diaries after the war that would show the plight of the Dutch people. At this point, Anne revisited her old diaries, adding more detail and editing existing entries. She wanted to become a famous writer and imagined her diaries as a way of enabling that.

This fact makes reading The Diary of a Young Girl a doubly powerful experience. Anne was a real teenager with real teenage concerns – the back of the book describes her as “an ordinary yet extraordinary teenage girl.” So, pretty much like all teenage girls, then. Her chatty, friendly style of writing means that her diary entries possess a dry humour despite being poignant and devastatingly awful. This is a children’s book that is as much for adults as it is for children.

It is 1934 and 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain has decided to keep a journal. She has two motivations – to practise her speed writing and to prepare herself for writing a novel. However, the six months that follow are so full of change and drama that Cassandra’s journal becomes a place where she records all that is happening (and quite a lot that isn’t happening too). This story explores sibling relationships, loyalty and ultimately, the issue of unbalanced love. We meet highly likeable, touching characters who are prepared to love more than they are loved. There is a lot of passion flying around this book and it culminates in one of the most powerful endings I have ever read. I found myself applauding Cassandra’s sense of self-worth while feeling incredibly sad that it had to end this way.

16 year old Ann Burden believes that she is the only survivor of a nuclear holocaust. That is, until the day that Mr Loomis walks into her valley, wearing a protective suit and dragging a wagon of provisions behind him. This was one of my favourite books as a teenager and the feeling of sinister menace that I remembered was just as strong when I recently re-read it. What if you were the last female on earth?
In Ann, we are given a strong heroine who considers practicality at every step but isn’t averse to a little daydreaming. Her diary is written over a period of three months and the ending is haunting. You desperately wish that it could somehow be different but it’s clear that Ann is taking the only action available to her.

My kids, along with millions of others the world over, absolutely love these books. You only need to read the first few entries to understand why. In Gregg Heffley, we are given a character who lies, cheats and does whatever he deems necessary to get through his day. He suffers at the hands of his big brother, Rodrick and struggles to understand why his parents are so totally devoted to his little brother. The only person available for Gregg to assert any power over is his friend, Rowley – and even that goes wrong when he pushes Rowley too far over the worm-terrorising incident. I asked my son to explain why he thinks these books are international bestsellers. His answer – Gregg isn’t particularly good at anything and that’s what makes him so appealing to kids. He’s an unlikely hero – a hero without heroic qualities. There’s a bit of Gregg Heffley in everyone.

This is not a book to read on public transport unless you are comfortable with laughing hysterically in a crowded train carriage. Georgia is feeling the pressure of teenage life – Dad’s disappeared to the other side of the world in search of work, she’s pretty sure Mum is having an affair with the builder and her little sister, Libby, has a penchant for hiding her dirty nappies in Georgia’s room. What I love about this book is the relationship that Georgia has with her friends. It’s honest and brutal and very, very realistic. A brilliant book for 12+ readers who will all find something about Georgia that they can identify with.

This book is an excellent read for older teenagers. The story of Chris and Helen and their little Nobody is heartbreaking and thought provoking. It isn’t strictly a diary – the majority of the story is told from the point of view of Chris as he recalls the events of the last nine months. His memories are interspersed with letters written by Helen to their unborn baby – both of which create a diary feel throughout the book. Chris is desperate to do the right thing and take responsibility for his actions, but Helen won’t let him. The relationship between Helen and her mother is difficult but ultimately, the arrival of Nobody helps to heal generations of hurt.

This book was written in 1970 and is still being enjoyed by pre-teen and early teenagers today. It’s another book that, while not strictly written in a diary format, creates the intimate feeling of a diary. Written in the first person by 11-year-old Margaret, we are taken on a journey of awkward moments, humiliating experiences and some serious self-doubt. Margaret ‘talks’ to God throughout the story, asking his advice and telling him her deepest secrets – she talks to God in the way that another girl might write a diary. The real beauty of this book lies in Margaret’s innocence – she feels angry with God and loudly professes to have no religion but not once does she question the reality of God.

I loved this book when I was younger and have recently passed it to my 12-year-old daughter. “It’s full of cringe-worthy stuff,” she told me, before she disappeared to her room to continue reading. Obviously that’s a good thing!

This book is great for readers aged six-nine years (although when I recently read it as a bedtime story to my six-year-old son, my 12-year-old daughter snuck in to listen as she remembered enjoying it so much when she was younger). We are told the story from the point of view of Tuffy, the killer cat, who likes to talk straight and tell it like it is. Tuffy’s no-nonsense approach makes him a charismatic narrator. Right up until the end, we have no idea whether he is a villain or a hero, and this makes it a book that children don’t want to put down.

I first read this book when I was 13 ¾ years old and thought it was the funniest book I’d ever read in my life. The week where Adrian decides to paint over his Noddy wallpaper with black paint is truly one of the funniest scenes I think I’ve ever read.
Reading this again as an adult, with a more parental perspective, I can hear the sadness in Adrian’s voice, which I didn’t really notice as a teen reader – then, I just thought it was funny (as have my own children). Adrian is a teenage boy in desperate need of a hot bath and some care and attention, but his parents are too engrossed in their own issues (plus, he is a highly annoying teenager with a large streak of arrogance). Everyone will know someone like Adrian – this book will remain a firm favourite for teenagers and adults alike, for many, many more years to come.

Boys Diary, Part 2 – No Escape

Part game guide and travelogue, part exploration of good game design, and part fanfiction, this article series sets out to showcase the best of what Final Fantasy XV, my favorite Final Fantasy game, has to offer. New posts will come out every Friday.

Day Two: A Hurricane of Feathers

We woke up at dawn at Merrioth Haven, a small campsite to the southwest of Hammerhead. The night before, Ignis cooked veggie medley stew with some of the provisions we’d collected that day, along with ingredients he brought along.

Our first order of business was to take out the Bloodhorn, a mutated Dualhorn wreaking havoc on the locals. It was much bigger than other Dualhorn we’d seen and much, much meaner. Something was wrong with its eyes — darkness itself seemed to be seeping from them.

It took a bit of work, but we were able to take the beast down eventually. On our way out of the gorge where we found it, I picked a peck of Leiden Peppers and inspired Ignis to come up with a new recipe. Cindy gave us a call a little bit before 8:00 AM to let us know that the Regalia was fully fixed! So we made our way back to town.

As we’re nearing Hammerhead, a giant bird — and I mean, a BIG ASS BIRD, descended from heaven and almost took us out with its wind shear alone.

This bird is still really far up in the sky, y’all. Fuck.

Luckily for this blog series, we did not die and our adventure did not end there in the claws of a force of nature. Instead it harmlessly flew off into the distance. I’m sure we won’t ever come across it again.


Let’s talk about Hammerhead and visual language for a minute. Final Fantasy XV is not the first Final Fantasy title to take place in a modern or premodern environment. But from the first moment we’re seen pushing our roadster down a two-lane highway in what could easily have been southeastern California, Nevada or Arizona, we are much more readily able to place ourselves in this world. Hammerhead reinforces this intense feeling of place for me; I could easily have driven past this truck stop when I was a kid going to motocross races with my parents.

And yet, Hammerhead is also functionally a typical JRPG starting town. There’s an inn, an item shop, a place to buy new starting weapons, a place to get a bunch of quests, and so on. But the disguise is flawless.

The inn is a trailer. The quest hub is a diner. Your item shop is a 7-Eleven from 45 years ago. Your main supporting cast is an aging auto mechanic and his “grease-monkey granddaughter.” Even if you’ve never or rarely traveled down Rte. 66, you know damn well that Hammerhead is a stop along it.

I think this closeness to reality is the point. There’s a moment where I distinctly notice an American Express credit card logo in the window of the convenience store in Hammerhead. I can see myself eating at Takka’s pit stop and enjoying their Jambalaya for real. This world is not just fully lived in, but it’s as close to ours as a Final Fantasy game can get.

That is 100% an American Express logo


Day 3: Dog Pets and Dog-tags

We handily completed the monster-hunting tasks Takka gave us, and left Hammerhead for Galdin Quay. As we were leaving, Cindy gave us one final job: deliver a package to a motel near Longwythe Peak.

Ignis drives, and we get one of my favorite experiences in the game: idle banter as the Leiden landscape blurs by. I really, really like this, and it’s why I never fast travel: instead of spending four minutes on a loading screen, I can spend three minutes listening to these characters have a chill conversation. Or watch them take in the scenery in silence.

We deliver the package and are greeted by a very welcome furry friend: Umbra, Noctis’s dog!

While you can’t press a button to pet Umbra yourself, Noctis gladly pets him for you. And thank god.

Umbra has brought Noct a shared diary that he and his betrothed, Oracle Lunafreya, have been keeping. Is it the most efficient method of communication, making this pupper walk across the countryside? No. But he seems happy to do it and it’s romantic as hell so I won’t hear anything bad against it.

This triggers a cutscene where we see a much younger Noct and Luna sitting on a bed reading a storybook. A wheelchair is in the background, and it’s implied that Luna used her powers to cure Noct of an illness or injury.

I really like this. I like the idea that Luna and Noct were friends as kids, and that their getting married isn’t something they’re being manhandled into.

Back in the present, Noctis replies to Luna’s message and Umbra just sorta trots off. I love him. And that’s it, we’re done in Longwy-nope, someone asks us to talk to Dave, the leader of the Hunters. I guess our exploits with Takka’s tasks have gotten around.

Dave explains that sometimes Hunters go out into the brush and never come back. It’s up to other Hunters to retrieve their dog-tags. He asks us to go on one of these retrieval missions for him. He tells us that the owners of the Crow’s Nest Diner will have more information and also some Good Ass Fries if we’re hungry.

The owners of the Crow’s Nest give us info on the dog-tag as well as some pesky monsters terrorizing the motel. We go hunting, retrieve the tags, and camp out at Emmelle Haven. Ignis makes “mystery meat sushi.”

Day 4: Roadside Assistance

As we were preparing to leave for the Quay, finally nearing the end of our quest, we notice a guy just sort of stranded. His car’s engine is smoking. Hammerhead’s some distance away and Longwythe doesn’t have the tools to help him. So we offer to go back into Hammerhead and pick up a repair kit.

This takes all day. So we stayed at the motel.

Day 5: We Finally See the Sea

With nothing else holding us back, we make our way to Galdin Quay. For real this time. 

The sea is breathtaking. It’s the first time Prompto has ever seen it, and for once he’s silent. Off in the distance, an island that looks like a crater looms. 

The water is a clear blue. The sand a pearlescent white. Gulls flock overhead. As we park the Regalia and walk towards the Quay proper, I overhear a woman talking about the ports being closed. A strange man waylays us at the entrance. He confirms our fears: the port is really closed. He claims to be a “man of no consequence.”

With no ships to take us anywhere, we decide to get the lay of the land. Inside the Quay, we make our acquaintance with the head chef, Coctura. She tells us about some havens and procurement points and, as always, lines out some monster-hunting quests for us to do. We take the ones available to us, including one at night. If we’re truly, truly stuck here, might as well make the best of it. 

Irritatingly, Dino Ghiranze, a reporter from the local paper, has decided to blackmail us. He’s promising to keep our presence in Galdin Quay secret if we can get him… some rocks. Cool, cool cool cool. Love this.

Next time on Final Fantasy: Boys Diary

The boys do a stupid fetch quest for stupid Dino and meet their worst nightmare — the big ass bird from earlier in the week! With no boats coming in or going out of Galdin Quay, the boys make do with some monster-hunting, including their first night mission! Gladio and Noctis bond on the beach! And… News from Insomnia. All that and more on the next Final Fantasy: Boys Diary!


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Diary of a boy from besieged Leningrad | Blogger SoVa_84 on the SPLETNIK website.RU 28 January 2014

I thought for a very long time to write this post or not. But today’s conversation with some gossips has put a fat point in doubts. I do not know what is leading the people who say that Leningrad should have been given away. What if we surrendered to the fascists – now we would live in paradise. And so on, so on, so on. Once again I apologize for the difficult post, but I think it is necessary.

On the eve of the siege of Leningrad, the family consisted of six people: father, Fedor Nikolaevich, mother – Maria Antonovna, son – Nikolai Fedorovich (19 years old), son Alexander Fedorovich (12 years old), daughter – Tatyana Fedorovna (7 years old), son – Vladimir Fedorovich (2. 5 years).At the very beginning, the eldest son went to the front. The rest remained in besieged Leningrad. The middle brother, Sasha, kept notes (diary). Some excerpts from the diary of our life in besieged Leningrad are given below:
They offered evacuation – they refused. Babaevsky food warehouses were bombed. The food got worse and worse. They reduced the food ration, it became difficult to live, everyone began to lose weight and become depleted. They broke down all the wooden sheds in the yard, they were afraid that they would catch fire from the “lighters”.The boards were buried in the ground, on firewood.
October month. The issue of nutrition is acute. I drove forty kilometers to Ladoga. With great difficulty, with my hands, I dug 15 kilograms of potatoes from the frozen ground. They were not allowed to drip, they were taken away, fined. Snow fell, bitter frosts began. Mom and I went to dig up rotten, green cabbage leaves. We took a whole tub and ate it for a while. The lice were completely seized. They climb and climb. They found out that a horse had died somewhere, they threw it into a pit. Mom and Tatuska (I was sick) went for carrion.It was a long way to go, the trams did not run. Others went with my mother, but they could not stand it and came back. There were already about twenty people at the pit. Three Tatars were swarming in the pit. They chopped off the best pieces of horse meat for themselves. Mom with an ax jumped into the hole, parted in front of her, and she hastily began to cut off the intestines. I got out of the pit under the abuse and threats, put my guts in a sack and went home. It was difficult to walk. Tatuska was capricious, she had to be dragged by the hand. Mom had a shovel, an ax and a bag of intestines in her hands, in the other hand.At home, this carrion was washed and my mother, along with potato peelings, cooked it like mashed potatoes. They knocked on the door. They introduce a man – this is our dad, he was scary, his eyes bulged out. Fell on the road, could not get up. By that time, food ration cards were issued. 125 grams of hl:) – per person. For children, cereals. Most of the rations went to Vovchik. Dad is getting worse and worse. He begins to slowly go crazy from lack of food. And these lice, lice on the body! There are whole hordes of them, they are crushed and they are still crawling and crawling.Hundreds, maybe thousands. The whole body is scratched in blood, and in these wounds – lice, lice! Drink and drink blood. And Vovchik, he is a fool, does not understand – he scratches, and scratches his head with claws. His claws are large and sharp (they were no longer trimmed) and he has a bloody tang on his head. We can’t wash, everything is frozen: no water, no light. Mom went to the dining room to bring some food for Dad. Tatuska and I were left alone. We played and talked. Didn’t notice how dad calmed down. I fell asleep forever. Mom came. As luck would have it, I stood in line for a long time.She went up to dad and suddenly screamed, fell on his chest and began to sob. Yes, it was hard for us then. They arranged for me to be a cook in the factory canteen, this is at Malaya Yukhta, twelve kilometers from our house. Every day on foot for 24 kilometers. In severe frosts, in tarpaulin boots, in an autumn coat, in case of malnutrition. It was very difficult. In the morning he cried. I didn’t want to leave mommy. Somehow Mom found a dead kitty on Nevsky Prospekt. I brought it home to cook it for us. We didn’t even want to listen, we categorically refused.When I cooked it – we ate it with appetite – it was very tasty. The apartment is twilight all day, very cold. The blackout is frozen to the windows – do not tear it off. We do not close the doors in the apartment, there is no strength. There is a lot of theft in the city. How have we not been robbed? In the middle of the night we felt that we were suffocating from the smoke. The whole apartment was in smoke. It was very cold and creepy. Tatuska ran out and began to knock on neighbors and accidentally slammed the door to the apartment. Neighbors knock – and cannot come to us. And we suffocate in the smoke.My head is spinning and we can’t open the door. The flame is already bursting out of the kitchen. Mom with Vovchik in her arms can no longer walk, she sat down to bed – that’s it, the end. I feel that I am about to fall and with the last of my strength I broke the glass. He cut his hand badly and now he was left with twisted fingers for the rest of his life. Mom ran out onto the balcony barefoot and caught a bad cold. End of December. It got really bad. Only 125 grams of bread remained in the house. Mom began to change everything for bread. They burned all the furniture. Mom was getting worse and worse.She feels that she will not see her older son again. I went from work very quickly to see my mom. Cut my finger, removed from work. My hand was swollen, my fingers turned black – I was waiting for the ration cards to be given. I spent three days on the bed in the basement of the dining room, eating nothing. The lice were seized, the whole body was swollen. I didn’t receive the card – and went home to see my mom. I couldn’t walk fast, my head was spinning – weakness. There was somehow an alarming foreboding, and suddenly mommy … I went up to the house, but my legs did not go up.I went into the room, and our mother was lying there – she fell asleep forever. Everything was muddled for me. Poor Little Johnny lies next to his mother, covered with lice, quiet, does not cry, probably does not understand what happened. Mom was wrapped in a blanket, carried outside and left there. There was no strength to bury. “Special brigades were created to collect the corpses.” Little Johnny was taken to the baby’s house, we couldn’t do anything. We were left alone with Tatuska, we could hardly move, we were swollen. They said that we would no longer survive. They helped to apply for evacuation, gathered us as best they could and sent us to the evacuation point of the Primorsky district.From there we were sent to the city of Gorky, to our relatives. So Cape Tatuska and Vovchik said goodbye to the still besieged Leningrad. Dad and Mom said goodbye before us …

Blockade in the language of numbers:
Availability of basic foodstuffs as of September 12, 1941:
Grain and flour – 35 days;
Groats and pasta – for 30 days;
Meat and meat products – for 33 days;
Fats – 45 days;
Sugar and confectionery – for 60 days.
The norms for the issue of chl 🙂 from July 18 to the end of September 1941:
workers – 800 grams;
employees – 600 grams;
dependents and children – 400 grams.
The norms for the issue of chl 🙂 from October 1 to November 13, 1941:
workers – 400 grams;
employees – 200 grams;
dependents and children – 200 grams.
The norms for the issue of chl 🙂 from November 20 to December 25, 1941:
workers – 250 grams,
employees and their families – 125 grams;
to the personnel of the paramilitary guards, fire brigades, extermination detachments, vocational schools and schools of the FZO, who were on the boiler ration – 300 grams.
Such norms led to a sharp jump in mortality from hunger – in December 1941, about 50 thousand people died.
At the end of December 1941, the chl 🙂 delivery rates were increased to 350 grams for workers and up to 200 grams for the rest of the city (while up to 60% of chl 🙂 were practically inedible impurities added instead of flour). All other products have almost ceased to be dispensed. In February 1942, the chl 🙂 delivery rates were:
workers – 500 grams;
employees – 400 grams;
dependents and children – 300 grams.
The number of victims of hunger grew rapidly – more than 4,000 people died every day.There were days when 6-7 thousand people died. More men died than women (for every 100 deaths, there were approximately 63 men and 37 women). By the end of the war, women made up the bulk of the urban population. In January-February 1942, about 130,000 people died in the city every month, 100,000 people died in March, 50,000 people died in May, 25,000 people died in July, and 7,000 people died in September.

It seems to me: When the fireworks are thundering,
The dead blockaders rise.
They walk the streets to the Neva,
Like all living beings, they just don’t sing.
Not because they don’t want to join us,
But because the dead are silent.
We do not hear them, We do not see them,
But the dead are always among the living.
They go and look, as if they are waiting for an answer:
Are you worth this life or not? (Yu.Voronov)

90,000 Dedicated to the Day of the complete liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi blockade …

January 25, 202117:21

On January 27, Russia celebrates the day of Russia’s military glory – the Day of the complete liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi blockade (1944).

No matter how many years have passed, the feat of Leningraders will remain an example of unparalleled fortitude, unbending will to win.

In order to tell about the courage of the inhabitants of the unconquered city on the eve of this memorable date, the libraries of the city of Kostroma, together with their readers, take part in the All-Russian actions “Reading about the blockade” and “Blockade bread”, conduct memory lessons and patriotic hours, arrange exhibitions and open views literature:

Library number 23 named afterV.V. Rozanova will hold an hour of patriotism “The Bread of That Winter” on January 26 at 13:00, and on January 27 at 13:00 an hour of courage “Unconquered Leningrad” will take place here.

On January 27, at 12.00, library number 2 (2ya Glazkovskaya str., 27) will gather young readers for a courage lesson “City in a steel ring”.

On the same day at 9.30 an hour of information “The unsubdued city. 10 facts about the blockade of Leningrad “.

Please note that an appointment is required to participate in the events by phone.31-90-52, as well as observance of the mask regime and social distance.

Some of the events will be held online.

The diaries of children of besieged Leningrad are piercing evidence of the horror of the Great Patriotic War. Online memory hour “In a dream I only dream about bread …” A.S. Pushkin opens before us the pages of Yura Ryabintsev’s diary. This is the diary of a boy who had to go through the terrible ordeals of the blockade.One of 35 children’s diaries from 1941-1945 published in the unique edition of the Children’s Book of War by the Argumenty i Fakty weekly. Each line is terrible and honest evidence of what the children of the war years had to experience.

Children’s and Youth Library offers to the attention of Kostroma residents an online review “The Siege of Leningrad. Children’s book”. This book is about how it was, what price the inhabitants of Leningrad paid and how they managed to withstand. This book is for everyone: boys and girls, sons and daughters, dads and moms, grandparents.

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