Memorial Day Review: Women Heroes of World War II – by Kathryn J. Atwood

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

by Kathryn J. Atwood

A 2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List selection

Heart touching stories of amazing courage and compassion during WWII.
Heart touching stories of amazing courage and compassion during WWII.

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.

My Review:

I tend to read fiction, but occasionally non-fiction catches my attention and leaves an impression.  Women Heroes of World War II  in particular came to mind for Memorial Day. This is an excellent book for beginning research into WWII history and key female heroes of the war. The hardships, courage, and sacrifices faced by the women and men in the stories is amazing and heart-wrenching all at the same time. The book is well organized and offers links to additional reading and online materials. Consider adding this to your “books to read” list and remember those who paid the ultimate price for freedom and peace.  

Note: This book was in the “Young Adult” section of the bookstore.  There are some sensitive situations in this book and I feel a parent would want to consider the maturity and comprehension level of my young teenager before allowing them read the book.