Farrell, Mary Cronk. Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific.
Non-fiction. Abrams, 2014. 160p. $24.95. 978-1-4917-1028-5. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 7-11.
From the striking cover to the harrowing stories inside, Pure Grit is a story that commands attention. Farrell tells the story of the hundred nurses who were stationed in the Philippines during WW II. Since most of the action of WW II had been in Europe, the nurses thought they were going to a safe place, primarily to attend to the needs of military personnel and their families in peace time. At first, the nurses’ lives in the Philippines were relaxed. But when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the Philippines, these inexperienced nurses were shocked to be attending injured, maimed, and dying men in a combat zone. Quotes from interviews and correspondence detail the harsh conditions of their service, their time as prisoners of war, and their difficulties getting support or recognition upon their return. Historically significant b&w photographs, along with maps, a dual-column text layout, glossary, list of nurses, select timeline, endnotes, bibliography, and websites for more information, complete the book. Review based on an ARC.
Jamie Renton, Independent
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