As the author of the Sue Barton series, Helen Dore Boylston knows how to take full advantage of the dramatic elements in the life of the founder of the American Red Cross. Yet she does so in a calm and calculated way that injects little sentiment where there could easily have been too much. Familiar as the events are, they take on new life here. There is Clara's childhood in Massachusetts where she developed as a shy yet physically daring girl, an odd combination but a natural one for the strenuous life of nursing ahead. Her nursing instinct showed itself early and strongly. At eleven she tended her brother through a two year illness, becoming despondent herself when there was no longer any work of this sort to do. Teaching then seemed a logical occupation but there was bad luck here when the position of principal in a school Clara started herself was given to a man. A full account of Clara's Civil War activities, and the years in Europe where she was inspired to start an American branch of the Red Crose, makes the bulk of the book and is satisfyingly detailed.