Nadja was twelve years old when the war broke out in her native country Bosnia. Throughout the next three and a half years, she and all the citizens of the capital Sarajevo suffered from continuous shelling and the deprivation of basic needs. In 1992, Nadja was wounded by a bombshell. She still has seven pieces of shrapnel in her legs. During the war, Nadja began sharing her poetry and diary entries on the National Radio. Soon, she had her own radio show called The Music Box. At fourteen, Nadja’s diary was published in Bosnia. She became known as the “Bosnian Anne Frank”, and National Dutch Television created a documentary about her life.
In late 1995, Nadja escaped the war and came to live in the United States. In the summer that year the sequel to her diary entitled Dreamer’s Insomnia was published in Bosnia. She continued to speak and share her experiences around the world at events such as The Global Young Leaders Conference, The State of the World Forum and many others. Nadja was featured in the Jackie Waldman’s Courage to Give, Eric Walters’ When Elephants Fightand Michael Collopy’s Architects of Peace, along with the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa.
Nadja was recognized by her school, Butler University, with the first ever “Woman of Distinction Award.” Upon graduating in 2002, she embarked on a nine-month speaking tour with the non-profit organization "Free the Children" promoting peace and tolerance to over 70,000 students across North America.
Nadja currently lives in Canada and her first North American publication entitled My Childhood Under Fire: A Sarajevo Diary was published in February 2006 by Kids Can Press. Her book was awarded the “2006 Best Book Award” under Social Studies by the Society of School Librarians International as well as nominated for the Norma Fleck Award and the Golden Oak Award. It has also been translated into French in 2007 and Indonesian in 2009.
Nadja has received an honorary doctorate for her work for peace and advocacy for children of war from Butler University in Indianapolis in December 2013 as well as the Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award in 2015.