Union Square & Co. To Publish Diary of Ukrainian 12-Year-Old Girl Who Fled Russian Invasion

You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine
Written by Yeva Skalietska
Coming October 25, 2022

NEW YORK, NY—June 22, 2022  Union Square & Co. will publish a firsthand account of the war in Ukraine from a young girl’s point of view in You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine, on October 25, 2022. In this harrowing memoir, 12-year-old Yeva Skalietska shares entries from her diary that describe frantically fleeing her home in Kharkiv to escape the Russian invasion and starting a new life with a family in Dublin, Ireland.

“I read Yeva’s diary at the London Book Fair, and not only was it immediate, it was emotional,” said Emily Meehan, Chief Creative Officer and Publisher of Union Square & Co. “I was so moved by her resilience in the face of such hardship and her bravery in telling her story; I knew we had to share it.”

“Everyone knows what the word ‘war’ means, but practically no one knows what this word really represents,” said Yeva Skalietska. “I want the world to know what we have experienced.”

In You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine, Yeva Skalietska’s story begins on her twelfth birthday in Kharkiv, where she has been living with her grandmother since she was a baby. Ten days later, the only life she’d ever known was irrevocably shattered. On February 24, 2022, her city was suddenly under attack as Russia launched its horrifying invasion. Yeva and her grandmother ran to a basement bunker, where she began writing this diary. She describes the bombings they endured while sheltering underground, and their desperate journey to West Ukraine. She shares her confusion about why the Russians would attack them, since she speaks Russian and follows many of their customs. After many endless train rides and a prolonged stay in an overcrowded refugee center in Hungary—because several countries in Europe refused them entry—Yeva and her beloved grandmother eventually find refuge in Dublin, where she bravely begins to forge a new life, hoping she’ll be able to return home one day.

U.S. rights to the book were pre-empted by Emily Meehan from Irish literary agent Marianne Gunn-O’Connor of the Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary, Film & TV Agency. The book will be edited by Editor-at-Large Claire Wachtel. Rights have been sold in 13 countries, and Union Square & Co. was the first publisher to acquire the title.

Union Square & Co. will donate a portion of the proceeds to Ukraine refugee organizations.


Yeva Skalietska is a 12-year-old from Ukraine who has experienced the hardships of war, relating her stories through diary entries that will resonate throughout the world. She now lives with her grandmother in Dublin, Ireland.


Union Square & Co. is a talent-driven publisher whose mission is to promote excellence in contemporary publishing and to honor the vision of our creators by providing best-in-class editorial, design, and production choices. Headquartered in New York City, Union Square & Co., LLC, is a subsidiary of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., and includes imprints Puzzlewright Press, home to pencil-and-paper puzzles, and Sterling Ethos, home to magic- and mystic-driven books and products. For more information, visit unionsquareandco.com.

Written by Yeva Skalietska
Union Square & Co. | October 25, 2022 | $19.99 U.S.| ISBN 978-1-4549-4969-5