Women Heroes of World War II

Women Heroes of World War II

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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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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 142.24 x 218.44 x 27.94mm | 430.91g
  • Chicago Review Press
  • Chicago, United States
  • English
  • 40 b/w photos
  • 1556529619
  • 9781556529610
  • 161,561

Review quote

"A well-written collection." --World War II Magazine "Atwood's vivid, accessible storytelling brings to life the oft forgotten female spies, saboteurs, and survivors who were utterly crucial to American victory in World War II. This book rightly solidifies their place in human history." --Ben Montgomery, author of The Leper Spy and New York Times bestseller Grandma Gatewood's Walk "Anyone who thinks that women's only responsibility in World War II was keeping morale high on the home front will change this view after reading about spies, prisoners of war, guerrilla fighters, and other courageous women in Women Heroes of World War II--the Pacific Theater." --Elizabeth M. Norman, author of We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Women Trapped on Bataan
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About Kathryn J. Atwood

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.
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Rating details

934 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 34% (318)
4 40% (378)
3 22% (201)
2 4% (34)
1 0% (3)

Our customer reviews

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.show more
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