Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America by Joan Wehlen Morrison, edited by Susan Signe Morrison

Home Front GirlWhen it comes to World War II, there is historical fiction aplenty.  Many authors have done intense research to create rich stories of things that could have happened in that time, but there is nothing like a primary document to help readers appreciate exactly how people felt and what they actually went through.  I’m guessing that is exactly why the Diary of Anne Frank resonated with me when I read it in middle school.  Anne was a real girl, she was about my age [13], and she had actually lived through the things I was reading about.  As I read Anne’s record of her time spent in that tiny apartment, hiding from the Nazis and hoping to make it out alive, I gained a new appreciation for the simple things in life.  Until I read her diary, I took it for granted that I had enough food to eat, was able to spend time with my friends, and could open a window for extra light and fresh air whenever I felt like it.

Joan Whelen Morrison’s diary is both similar to and completely different from Anne Frank’s diary.  It’s different, obviously, because Joan lived in America and didn’t live in fear of being found and killed by the Nazis; her location afforded her a great many freedoms Anne was denied.  Joan’s diary is extremely similar, though, because she was also a teenage girl whose writing not only chronicled her daily life and the events unfolding around her but also revealed some incredible insights about life.  Joan’s diary gives readers a peek into the life of a typical [American] teenage girl who lived during the time of the Great Depression and leading up to World War II.  The tone of her diary ranges from light and funny entries about school and boys to more serious, with topics like the explosion of the Hindenburg and the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  People who enjoy reading and learning about this time in history won’t want to miss Home Front Girl.

Happy Reading!


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