Sunday, September 12, 2021

Picture Book Round-Up: Books about War


Yesterday was a terrible anniversary. And while war is a terrible thing, since it happens, it's nice to have picture books to explain it to our youngest readers.

This post is a mix of biographies and various wars.

American Civil War:

Jennie Hodgers was born in Ireland, but sailed to America in the disguise of a boy. It was easier that way. When she arrived in New York, it was easier to find work as a boy - so she did. By the time she moved West, she became a he - permanently. When the Civil War broke out, he signed up and fought for his country. Years later, the truth came out, but it all worked out.

Albert D.J. Cashier made so many choices for himself and for his country. This was a great introduction to a man who many have never heard of. Plus this is a great transgender story.


The country was at war and asked for telephone operators. Grace answered the call. Due to her previous training, she was named her group's Chief Operator. They connected calls between headquarters and operations. The ladies worked hard but also had fun while they were off duty. Grace Banker was also the first woman to be awarded with the Distinguished Service Medal. 

A really neat look at an important job during the war. Grace and her ladies were brave and determined. I want to read more about them. This one is a bit more in depth, making it great for older readers. 

At the end of the great war, one unknown body returned to Arlington National Cemetery to stand for all the unknown soldiers. Many families could now mourn their loss. Now this tomb is guarded around the clock, thanking the soldiers for their sacrifice. 

Beautifully illustrated, this biography shares the solemn nature of this tomb and the soldiers who guard it. This book is serious and best suited for older readers. 

A meeting with a librarian changed the course of Elizabeth's life - which changed everything. Elizabeth loved languages and looking for codes. When the country entered the war, they needed someone to decode spy messages. Elizabeth and her husband helped set up a school to teach others. Time and time again, her country called on her expertise and she answered the call each time.

This was fascinating. I've never heard of Elizabeth Friedman, but reading this picture book makes long for a historical fiction about her life. A bit longer of a picture book biography, this one is great for Elementary school readers. 

Rosie is a tractor built by a factory of women and ready to do her part taking care of the land. The Land Girls and Rosie work the fields for produce to send to the troops. She doesn't give up.

I liked how this one focused on the tractor - making it an different story. Rosie showed strength and determination. Plus there's a great Author's Note at the end. 

Military but no war:
Margaret Bulkley thought her future looked small. Women/girls weren't allowed to do much. She wanted to be a soldier. She started learning and became interested in medical books. Women weren't allowed to attend medical school. So Margaret became James Barry. He did all those things instead - went to medical school, joined the army, and lived life on his terms. 

This was an interesting transgender story about a girl who became a boy. He lived the life he wanted to live. 

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