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Women War Correspondents in World War II

by Penny Colman

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-517-80075-6
Publisher: Crown

Using contemporary newspaper clippings and headlines as well as photographs that capture vivid historical moments, Colman offers an overview of a subject too often neglected in children’s biography. These are the valiant and defiant women writers and photographers who ignored slights, harassment, and—sometimes direct—orders, to get to the front and do their jobs. Martha Gellhorn covered the Spanish Civil War before her work in WWII, her writing better known than that of her husband, Ernest Hemingway. “I was a great frequenter of hospitals,” she wrote, “because that is where you see what war really costs.” Lee Carson, forbidden to cover D-Day because of her gender, did so anyway, and her dispatch was perhaps the first. Dickey Chapelle took photographs at Iwo Jima, thinking the buzzing sounds about her were insects—they were bullets, and she was under fire. Chapelle died stepping on a land mine in Vietnam in 1965. Margaret Bourke-White photographed the living and the dead at the concentration camp at Buchenwald. Colman covers 18 women; the only place she falters is in the coda that explains what happened to each woman after the war. Death dates and more information would have been welcome. The light of Colman’s bright prose brings these women to the front once again, and young readers and researchers will be astonished and delighted at their bravery. (bibliography, photo credits, index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 10-14)