Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, & Rescue

Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, & Rescue

Book rating: 05 Paperback Women of Action

By (author) Kathryn J. Atwood

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  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 218mm x 28mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago
  • ISBN 10: 1556529619
  • ISBN 13: 9781556529610
  • Illustrations note: 40 b/w photos
  • Sales rank: 56,100

Product description

A 2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List selection Noor Inayat Khan was the first female radio operator sent into occupied France and transferred crucial messages. Johtje Vos, a Dutch housewife, hid Jews in her home and repeatedly outsmarted the Gestapo. Law student Hannie Schaft became involved in the most dangerous resistance work--sabotage, weapons transference, and assassinations. In these pages, young readers will meet these and many other similarly courageous women and girls who risked their lives to help defeat the Nazis. Twenty-six engaging and suspense-filled stories unfold from across Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States, providing an inspiring reminder of women and girls' refusal to sit on the sidelines around the world and throughout history. An overview of World War II and summaries of each country's entrance and involvement in the war provide a framework for better understanding each woman's unique circumstances, and resources for further learning follow each profile. Women Heroes of World War II is an invaluable addition to any student's or history buff's bookshelf.

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Author information

Kathryn J. Atwood is an educator and writer. She has contributed to "War, Literature, ""and the Arts," PopMatters.com, "Midwest Book Review," and "Women's Independent Press."

Customer reviews

By LoiswriteReview1b3t21Reviews21 26 Apr 2011 5

As Georges Loustaunau-Lacau, owner of the magazine L'ordre national remarked to Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, when asking her to organize a massive French spy network that later came to be known as Noah's Ark, "Who will ever suspect a woman?" In fact, such underestimation of women's ability helped to bring down the Nazi regime, as, especially at the start of World War II, the fascist supremacists overlooked what damage women could cause to their overwhelming militaristic might. That women made a major contribution to winning the War for the Allies is undeniable, and Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue explains how.

Kathryn Atwood proves herself to be a storyteller and historian of note, as she provides an overall account of the War, as it was waged on the Western Front, before giving a country-by-country overview of the progress and impact of the War, covering Germany, Poland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States. After contextualizing the setting that gave rise to the exploits of the heroines that Atwood describes in Women Heroes of World War II, the author describes the contribution made by each hero to the war effort. The strength and resilience of such well-known figures as Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich are paralleled with those of lesser-known women, who fought with as strong a will and determination to defy evil, no matter the odds. That they did so at great danger to life and limb is clearly shown, making them ideal role models for young and aspirant women who, although they might not have to fight against such horrors as Kristallnacht (Crystal Night, or the Night of Broken Glass), nevertheless have frequently still to overcome social stereotyping and discrimination at school, college and beyond.

Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue reads like a fast-paced and well-written action novel. In addition to being extremely well-researched and informative, because it presents a comprehensive picture of the War from ground level up, as well as providing an overview of the War at both national and international level, the work is ideal background reading for history learners, especially from middle school level up. The book is so exciting that it is sure to lure many a learner away from the Internet, which, as we all know, is not always the most reliable source of information for school and college projects. Even so, each chapter ends with a short bibliography listing a few books and websites to which students can turn if they wish to read further (and I can almost guarantee you, they will). Women Heroes of World War II is a memorable work that should find a home in all resource centers and libraries dedicated to serving the interests of the youth.

Review quote

"Inspiring accounts of the lives of women -- some of them still in their teens -- whose courage made a difference in the dark days of World War II." --Rita Kramer, author of Flames in the Field: The Story of Four SOE Agents in Occupied France "Those in Women Heroes of World War II surely played a major role in turning the tide of the war in the Allies' favor. Kathryn Atwood's book will be a wonderful inspiration to girls and women." --Judith Pearson, author of The Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America's Greatest Female Spy "Atwood's admiration and enthusiasm for her subjects is apparent in these engaging profiles, and readers will likely be inspired to investigate these fascinating women further." -- Kirkus Reviews "[Women Heroes of World War II] tells the compelling story of volunteering and humanitarianism in a world focused mainly on the heroism of men."MetroKids "These stories will restore your faith in the human spirit and encourage us all to remember to do what is right, because it is right. Women Heroes of World War II is a must read for anyone who has ever asked themselves: 'What can I do? Can one person really make a difference?'" --Kenneth Koskodan, author of No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland's Forces in World War II "A well-written collection." -- World War II Magazine "Each story has been meticulously researched...This is a great read for students who like adventure or are researching World War II." -- VOYA, Voices of Youth Advocate reviews "Adds a vital dimension to more traditional titles on the war. It will appeal to browsers seeking adventure tales while also enriching classes in history and women's studies, and units on war and peace...Recommended." --Library Media Connection