War and Peacemakers

Goldsmith, Connie  Women in the Military: From Drill Sergeants to Fighter Pilots
Middle school, high school    120 pp.    Twenty-First Century    2019

This in-depth and refreshingly inclusive text looks at the history and current state of women in the military. Illuminating first-person accounts and biographical profiles are interspersed with descriptions of the various hurdles and discrimination women soldiers have faced (e.g., not being allowed to serve in combat until 2016). Full-color photos are featured throughout, along with sidebars on related facts. Timeline. Bib., glos., ind.

Subjects: Social Sciences; Government, Economics, and Education; Women—Armed forces; Armed forces; Women—Soldiers; Soldiers; Sexual harassment; Prejudices; History, American


Mitchell, Don  The Lady Is a Spy: Virginia Hall, World War II Hero of the French Resistance
Middle school, high school    267 pp.    Scholastic/Focus    2019

The incredible life and achievements of American-born spy Virginia Hall are relayed in exciting detail in this volume. During WWII Hall worked as an undercover agent for both Britain and the U.S. and worked closely with the French Resistance. Her daring exploits will thrill young history buffs and those interested in real-life spy stories. Extensive notes are appended, and photographs are frequent throughout. Bib., ind.

Subjects: Biographies; Individual Biographies; Hall, Virginia; Women—Spies; Spies; History, Modern—World War II; Nazism; France; Women—Biographies; Great Britain


Robeson, Susan  Grandpa Stops a War: A Paul Robeson Story
Gr. K–3    48 pp.    Seven/Triangle    2019

Illustrated by Rod Brown. The author recalls her father telling the story of how her famous grandfather, the singer Paul Robeson (1898–1976), "stopped a war." In 1938, his singing for the soldiers on the front lines of Teruel temporarily halted the Spanish Civil War ("The battlefield grew silent. No shots were fired"). The story's humanity is underscored with paintings by a sure hand.

Subjects: Biographies; Individual Biographies; Robeson, Paul; History, Modern—Spanish Civil War; Singers; African Americans; Peace; Political activists; Music; Musicians; Soldiers


Wallmark, Laurie  Hedy Lamarr's Double Life
Gr. K–3, 4–6    48 pp.    Sterling    2019

Illustrated by Katy Wu. WWII-era film star Hedy Lamarr (1914–2000) was also an inventor whose "brain overflowed with idea after idea." Though Lamarr's technology is widely used in today's electronics, it took decades for her work to be acknowledged. Well-chosen quotes reveal Lamarr's frustration with people's assumptions about her intelligence based on her "pretty face." Approachable digital illustrations ably portray Lamarr in glitz-and-glam-Hollywood mode and at her inventing table. Reading list, timeline. Bib.

Subjects: Biographies; Individual Biographies; Scientists; Women—Scientists; Lamarr, Hedy; Women—Biographies; Women—Inventors; Women—Actors; History, Modern—World War II; Inventions and inventors; Actors; Gender roles; Motion pictures; Electronics


Wein, Elizabeth  A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
Middle school, high school    388 pp.    HarperCollins/B+B    2019

Consummate historical-fiction writer Wein here exercises her considerable skill as researcher, historian, and storyteller in a capacious history of the USSR’s three regiments of airwomen during WWII. Wein takes us deep into the training, daily lives, combat, and intense personal commitment these women experienced throughout the war. An easy, friendly writing style invites readers into the company of a formidable sisterhood. Illustrated throughout with maps and period photographs. Bib., ind.

Subjects: History; Europe; Pilots; Women—Pilots; History, Modern—World War II; Vehicles—Airplanes; Flight; Women—History; Soviet Union

From the December 2019 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

Horn Book
Horn Book

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