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Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue

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A 2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List selection   Noor Inayat Khan was the first female radio operator sent into occupied France and transferred crucial messages. Johtje Vos, a Dutch housewife, hid Jews in her home and repeatedly outsmarted the Gestapo. Law student Hannie Schaft became involved in the most dangerous resistance work--sabotage, weapons transference, and assassinat A 2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List selection   Noor Inayat Khan was the first female radio operator sent into occupied France and transferred crucial messages. Johtje Vos, a Dutch housewife, hid Jews in her home and repeatedly outsmarted the Gestapo. Law student Hannie Schaft became involved in the most dangerous resistance work--sabotage, weapons transference, and assassinations. In these pages, young readers will meet these and many other similarly courageous women and girls who risked their lives to help defeat the Nazis.             Twenty-six engaging and suspense-filled stories unfold from across Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States, providing an inspiring reminder of women and girls’ refusal to sit on the sidelines around the world and throughout history. An overview of World War II and summaries of each country’s entrance and involvement in the war provide a framework for better understanding each woman’s unique circumstances, and resources for further learning follow each profile. Women Heroes of World War II is an invaluable addition to any student’s or history buff’s bookshelf.


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A 2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List selection   Noor Inayat Khan was the first female radio operator sent into occupied France and transferred crucial messages. Johtje Vos, a Dutch housewife, hid Jews in her home and repeatedly outsmarted the Gestapo. Law student Hannie Schaft became involved in the most dangerous resistance work--sabotage, weapons transference, and assassinat A 2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List selection   Noor Inayat Khan was the first female radio operator sent into occupied France and transferred crucial messages. Johtje Vos, a Dutch housewife, hid Jews in her home and repeatedly outsmarted the Gestapo. Law student Hannie Schaft became involved in the most dangerous resistance work--sabotage, weapons transference, and assassinations. In these pages, young readers will meet these and many other similarly courageous women and girls who risked their lives to help defeat the Nazis.             Twenty-six engaging and suspense-filled stories unfold from across Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States, providing an inspiring reminder of women and girls’ refusal to sit on the sidelines around the world and throughout history. An overview of World War II and summaries of each country’s entrance and involvement in the war provide a framework for better understanding each woman’s unique circumstances, and resources for further learning follow each profile. Women Heroes of World War II is an invaluable addition to any student’s or history buff’s bookshelf.

30 review for Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This non-fiction text profiles twenty six women from eight different countries that fought against Nazi policy and occupation. They were women from all different walks of life that felt they needed to be involved in the rescue, resistance, sabotage and espionage movements during WWII. There were women like Irena Sendler, Sophie Scholl, Corrie ten Boom and Magda Trocme that I knew, but many whose stories I had never heard before. Kathryn Atwood has created a non fiction text that both adolescent This non-fiction text profiles twenty six women from eight different countries that fought against Nazi policy and occupation. They were women from all different walks of life that felt they needed to be involved in the rescue, resistance, sabotage and espionage movements during WWII. There were women like Irena Sendler, Sophie Scholl, Corrie ten Boom and Magda Trocme that I knew, but many whose stories I had never heard before. Kathryn Atwood has created a non fiction text that both adolescents and adults could easily enjoy. At the end of each profile, Atwood provides further information about how readers can find out more about each individual woman. Many photos accompany the text and help readers put a face to the name. The one sticky issue that I have is sometimes the translations or quotes from the women taken from other sources of information made the writing awkward. Thanks to my mother for donating this book to my classroom library.

  2. 4 out of 5

    The Distracted Bee

    After reading The Nightingale my friends and I were intrigued about the roles women played in WWII, not really even realizing there were heroic stories to be shared!! We didn't realize this was for YA, and is very watered down/ concise. It's a good starting point to follow up on some women they discuss here, but the stories are too short and the introduction? Hitler = really really bad. Ok. Got it. K thx. I've technically not read the WHOLE book, but there are good short stories to read while kil After reading The Nightingale my friends and I were intrigued about the roles women played in WWII, not really even realizing there were heroic stories to be shared!! We didn't realize this was for YA, and is very watered down/ concise. It's a good starting point to follow up on some women they discuss here, but the stories are too short and the introduction? Hitler = really really bad. Ok. Got it. K thx. I've technically not read the WHOLE book, but there are good short stories to read while killing time... If anyone can recommend another good read about women during WWII I'd love to check them out!! The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust is on my To Read list, for example...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Disclaimer: Kathryn Atwood is a Goodreads friend. I've never met her in real life, and I brought this book. But she is a Goodreads Friend (was before this book was published). Just so you know. Billed as a young adult history book, Atwood's Women Heroes of World War II can easily be read by people of all ages. This is great because it is a book that helps to fill two large gaps in World War II history. The first gap is that of the helpers or rescuers of Jews in World War II. This is a gap, I can h Disclaimer: Kathryn Atwood is a Goodreads friend. I've never met her in real life, and I brought this book. But she is a Goodreads Friend (was before this book was published). Just so you know. Billed as a young adult history book, Atwood's Women Heroes of World War II can easily be read by people of all ages. This is great because it is a book that helps to fill two large gaps in World War II history. The first gap is that of the helpers or rescuers of Jews in World War II. This is a gap, I can hear you wonder. Well, yes and no. Everyone knows the story of Miep Gies, but Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is pretty much the only piece of the rescuer story that is taught in schools. This book introduces the reader to more rescuers. Miep Gies is not mentioned, and this is not an oversight. It allows Atwood to focus on lesser known people. Atwood's book is split into sections. There is a general introduction, overview really, followed by sections about Germany, Poland, France, Netherlands, Beligum, Britian, and the United States. Each section includes, in addition to the stories of the heroes, a general overview of the country during World War II, with particular focuses on the role of women. While not all encompassing, the women Atwood focuses on could easily be fit into all nationalities (Slovak, Irish, Indian) and cover all age groups and social classes. While younger women predominate, there are older ladies as well. The importance of less known heroes is well established. The best known three, at least in general, would be Irene Sendler, Joesphine Baker, and Marlene Dietech. While it is true that all of the women mentioned appear in books (some of have written books), very few appear in books that are used in schools. Atwood's book is readily accessible to schools not only in it's layout but in the amount of infromation it has. It would be a good textbook, good because it is not dull and dry. This is important because of the use and popularity of Saving Private Ryan and HBO's World War II mini-series. Atwood's book gives female students that in, taking away the feeling of absence that can be felt by women watching World War II movies. Equally important, and tied to the above point, is that in addition to spies and rescuers, Atwood includes protestors, a nurse, and a reporter. She presents heroes of different types. The inclusion of the German dissenters is important for this reason as well. Atwood has both tragic and happy ending stories, but all are inspiring. She gets full points for tastefully relating some of the harsher elements of the stories (the focus of the stories is the War experience, however, additional facts are provided). The layout of the book is excellent. In additionally to the chapter introductions and wonderfully selected photographers, there are little boxes in each section, giving more detailing to terms, historical events, people, or speeches. At the end of each woman's chapter, Atwood provides a book that includes infromation for further reading on the woman. These are repeated in the book's biblography, with books for children (or accessible by children) starred. Perhaps the book is too focused on the European theatre, though this allows for a larger variety of women and, perhaps, there will be a second volume about the Pacific (hint, hint). Perhaps an inclusion of Twenty Jataka Tales under Noor Khan's further reading book would have been nice. But these are very small quibbles. This book is a must read for anyone interested in World War II and for any parent of a young girl.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    I found this a marvelous source of really gripping narratives about the women who resisted the Nazis. It leaves me profoundly heartened by the ability of the 26 women included to do life saving good in the face of such profound evil. It is the latter that I find so hard to understand, especially what might be called creative evil: going out of one's way to do harm to others. These women coped with that without despair and lived and died saving others. The book has great photos of the heroes and a I found this a marvelous source of really gripping narratives about the women who resisted the Nazis. It leaves me profoundly heartened by the ability of the 26 women included to do life saving good in the face of such profound evil. It is the latter that I find so hard to understand, especially what might be called creative evil: going out of one's way to do harm to others. These women coped with that without despair and lived and died saving others. The book has great photos of the heroes and also good resources to go deeper into their stories. I literally could not put this book down and have read it within a day of its arrival. I think what most drew me to it was the optimism about human nature that it encouraged. Here were 26 young women, who in one way or another, encountered directly or heard about, the massive, murderous injustices of the Nazi regime in their own or other countries and did something about it. I found extraordinary, the repeated instances where confronting an impossible moral dilemma between their own survival and saving others, so many chose to save others. I also liked how often an intuitive sense of danger or of what to do saved the day. Generally ordinary young women suddenly made extraordinary by appalling situations. Though I guess Marlene Dietrich, Martha Gellhorn, or Josephine Baker, who are included are a little less ordinary. The picture of Marlene Dietrich trapped behind the lines in the Ardennes in late 1944 is extraordinary. And as you look through the photographs of each of the 26, you see a something they all seem to have in common: this moral courage, this ability to look profound evil in the eye and not flinch. Some of them died, and though I already knew something of the story of the White Rose German resistance group, the photo of one of its members Sophie Scholl is what really haunted me. Her seriousness and yet she was the one who in the midst of the monstrous Roland Freisler's tirade at her trial,where she was sentenced to death, she simply shouted: 'Somebody had to make a start! What we said and wrote are what many people are thinking. They just don't dare say it out loud!' And these 26 young women said or did it out loud. And while some were executed, many of them survived to pay testament to those who didn't, and keep up the idea of resistance to evil. Many of them lived to a ripe old age and I guess having made the most of life. Thank you to Kathy Atwood for bringing their stories to life and to light. Her style of recounting the events she recalls is gripping, but deeply humane and compassionate, informed no doubt by her own faith in humanity. The book has excellent additional resources on each of the 26 and would make a great gift to any feisty young women (and men) who wonder what life direction they should take. Here are 26 inspirational stories. And for those who died saving others or fighting evil: we remember you and this book helps us in that necessary process.Thank you all. It occurs to me that while the Yad Vashem remembers the 'Righteous among the Nations' who helped saved Jews, perhaps this book is a step towards more general recognition of those who saved their fellow humans of whatever race, group, nationality, etc.

  5. 5 out of 5

    James L.

    I went into Kathryn Atwood’s Women Heroes of World War II hoping the experience would leave me with the same fascination I experienced after watching HBO’s excellent series Band of Brothers. While the book does deliver in that regard, in some ways I feel like I got so much more. Atwood paints vivid stills of her twenty-six heroines, offering up generally their most significant wartime contributions as well as fascinating peeks into each woman’s personality. Perhaps my favorite profile is that of I went into Kathryn Atwood’s Women Heroes of World War II hoping the experience would leave me with the same fascination I experienced after watching HBO’s excellent series Band of Brothers. While the book does deliver in that regard, in some ways I feel like I got so much more. Atwood paints vivid stills of her twenty-six heroines, offering up generally their most significant wartime contributions as well as fascinating peeks into each woman’s personality. Perhaps my favorite profile is that of Nora Inayat Khan, a petite and quite shy British resistance worker who failed miserably early on but came back to become one of the most fierce and determined women in the book. At one time, the once gentle girl fought violently with the unfortunate Nazi sympathizer sent to arrest her, clawing and scratching him so badly that he could only restrain her by putting a gun to her head. Atwood’s writing is straightforward and suitable for all ages, although it’s clear that the adventure-style telling of most stories is designed for younger audiences. Some profiles wrap rather quickly, but this seems to be a byproduct of Atwood’s desire to keep the book compact more than anything else. Each story could be (and often has been) expanded upon to form entire books of their own. With that in mind, Women Heroes of World War II serves as the perfect primer for those seeking a great introduction to women’s contributions in WWII. Thankfully, Atwood treats some of the more disturbing outcomes of her heroines with a grace that will allow even more sensitive readers such as myself to continue. Still, some of the stories were so moving or unfortunate that they brought a tear to my eye. It is always difficult to read of broken families, tortures, murders and the like, no matter how gentle the treatment. But Atwood is brilliant in showing that despite the overwhelmingly dark situations these women found themselves in, their character, moral fortitude, and faith made their lives shine so brightly that we can still feel their warmth to this day. Most outcomes are good, however. Each profile brings something new, unexpected, or even near miraculous. I found myself gut-wrenched at times, cheering at others, and sometimes just generally amazed. Atwood has taken my perception of women and their war time contributions from a merely national one to an international one. She skillfully illustrates that women abroad often fought two wars: one against the ruthless Germans, and the other against the sexism so deeply rooted in the culture of that day. Thankfully these wonderful women helped win both wars. In Women Heroes of World War II, I feel like I got what could be called a “Band of Sisters”. It’s about a group of women not bound by a military brigade or battalion, but by the greater bond of a common moral code, one that impelled them to help those less fortunate than themselves and to sacrifice everything, even up to their very lives, for the sake of freedom. It is an excellent read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    For those of you who, like me, struggle to get through non-fiction, this may be the book for you. It's classified as young adult non-fiction, which just means that you aren't overwhelmed with information. While some of the stories may have benefitted from a bit more detail, this book does its job well: it introduces you to many heroic women who did resistance work in World War II. It's meant to get you interested in these women, and provides resources for you to learn more about them. I liked th For those of you who, like me, struggle to get through non-fiction, this may be the book for you. It's classified as young adult non-fiction, which just means that you aren't overwhelmed with information. While some of the stories may have benefitted from a bit more detail, this book does its job well: it introduces you to many heroic women who did resistance work in World War II. It's meant to get you interested in these women, and provides resources for you to learn more about them. I liked the formatting, as well. The author separates the stories by location, which really works well here because you learn about a wide range of women who were involved in resistance work. I definitely think this would be a good teaching tool for younger readers. I can see a teacher assigning a different chapter to each student where they have to research more information about the woman they are assigned to. I found myself doing my own research into many of the women presented in this book, so I would say the author was definitely successful in her attempts to give introductions to these incredible women. I was unfamiliar with the majority of the women described in this book, and I really enjoyed that. It was really fascinating to read about all of these people who risked so much to help others.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    In Women Heroes of World War II, Kathryn Atwood has written a very moving account of 26 strong, courageous women who stood up to the Nazi scourge at great risk to their own lives. Some joined underground resistance movements in Nazi-occupied countries, others rescued Jews and Allied soldiers caught behind enemy lines or worked as spies, mingling with the enemy to gather useful information. And all of their stories are amazing. In Poland, 19-year-old Irene Gut worked for a high ranking German off In Women Heroes of World War II, Kathryn Atwood has written a very moving account of 26 strong, courageous women who stood up to the Nazi scourge at great risk to their own lives. Some joined underground resistance movements in Nazi-occupied countries, others rescued Jews and Allied soldiers caught behind enemy lines or worked as spies, mingling with the enemy to gather useful information. And all of their stories are amazing. In Poland, 19-year-old Irene Gut worked for a high ranking German officer in his villa. She was able to hide 12 Jews in the basement of the house, right under his nose. When he found out, he offered to keep quiet, but at a high price. Irene realized that the fate of 12 human beings rested on whether or not she would accept the offer. Sophie Scholl, a college student in Munich, Germany wasn’t much older than Irene when she began her Resistance activities. Along with 10 others including her brother Hans, Sophie belonged to the White Rose (die Weiße Rose.) The group wrote and distributed six extensive anti-Nazi leaflets urging people to denounce Hitler’s government in word and deed. Anti-Nazi behavior was considered treason, punishable by death. Sophie and the other members of the White Rose knew the consequences of their actions, but continued their activities. Other women in Women Heroes of World War II were surprises to me, for example, Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich. Josephine Baker, an African-American, had lived in Paris for many years after leaving the US in part because of the racism she encountered here. As an entertainer, Josephine had the perfect cover for a spying. Before France fell to the Nazis, Josephine did some espionage working for the Deuxième Bureau, a French intelligence agency. Her celebrity status allowed her to mingle at parties where she would listen in on conversations and acquire much need information Marlene Dietrich, though German born, was an American citizen who worked against the Nazis and volunteered to entertain troops for the USO, often at great risk to herself. Sometimes, she was so close to the front lines, she could hear gunfire and bombs going off. When she started to use her signature song, Lilie Marlene, in English for the troops, the Nazis were livid, that had been their World War I song. These are just a few examples of the lives of the extraordinary women who risked everything to help others in very dangerous situations that are included in this book. Though every story is different, the women were motivated by the same thing: when the time came, they did what they felt was right. Women Heroes of World War II is a well written, well researched book. Ms. Atwood profiles the resistance activities of women from eight countries: Germany, Poland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain and the United States. There is also a brief summary of the way in which each country entered World War II. This information really helps the reader appreciate the dangers and obstacles these woman faced. Each woman’s story is also supplemented with additional material, for example, passages from the leaflets written by Sophie Scholl and the White Rose, or the edict issued when Denmark was forced to surrender to the Germans. At the end of every woman’s story is a list of resources where the reader can go to find more information about her. The beauty of the organization of this book is that it can be read from cover to cover, as I did, or in parts. Each narrative stands on it own. This makes it ideal as a teaching tool and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Women Heroes of World War II is recommended for readers age 12 and up. This book was purchased for my personal library.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    This is the sort of book that you'd have to try really hard to screw up. The basic facts of these women's lives are so riveting on their own that you'd have to be a poor writer indeed to make it anything less than fascinating. Atwood is not a poor writer, and I think she did her best to present the best, most succinct, and most exciting accounts of each woman with an allowance of slightly less than ten pages per woman. I was actually most impressed with her selection. Yes, there should have been This is the sort of book that you'd have to try really hard to screw up. The basic facts of these women's lives are so riveting on their own that you'd have to be a poor writer indeed to make it anything less than fascinating. Atwood is not a poor writer, and I think she did her best to present the best, most succinct, and most exciting accounts of each woman with an allowance of slightly less than ten pages per woman. I was actually most impressed with her selection. Yes, there should have been some Soviet women in here, but I'm satisfied with Atwood's explanation (not enough English language sources available to her). But beyond that, she did a great job in choosing women who did amazing things but aren't widely known. Of the 26 women in this book, I'd previously heard of five of them, and for two of them it wasn't even for their war work. I'd imagine that most of the high school students this book was written of wouldn't have heard of more than one or two, if that. Which is great! Atwood avoided the easiest targets in favor of introducing women with great stories who might slip through the cracks.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    This isn't a book that lends itself to sitting down and reading straight through. The individual stories start to seem too similar: clever girls, touched by the plight of others, finding a way to hide or briefly shelter Jews on an underground railroad, finding their strength in their faith. With Schindler's List you get more ambiguity, more real personality. While it would be useful to find a few pointers that would show us all how to remain moral in a horrifying world, these stories are too abb This isn't a book that lends itself to sitting down and reading straight through. The individual stories start to seem too similar: clever girls, touched by the plight of others, finding a way to hide or briefly shelter Jews on an underground railroad, finding their strength in their faith. With Schindler's List you get more ambiguity, more real personality. While it would be useful to find a few pointers that would show us all how to remain moral in a horrifying world, these stories are too abbreviated to be really insightful. Library copy

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nissa

    If you are interested in the woman who went behind enemy lines during WWII risking their all, then this is the book for you. The unashamed bravery of these woman, put us all to shame, I was often left amazed and inspired by their sacrifice. Wonderfully written and a must read! Great for the young and old. I was honored to have won a free autographed copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I would like to thank Chicago Review Press.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rupert Colley

    No one knows how they will react in a situation of utmost peril. Fortunately, for most of us, we will never have to face that ultimate test of one's deepest resolve. None of the 26 heroines in Kathryn Attwood's new book, Women Heroes of World War Two, thought of themselves as heroes but their actions beggar belief. For the greater good they defied or tried to defy the evils of Nazism, each trying in her own, individual way to throw a small spanner into the giant machine that was Hitler's Germany No one knows how they will react in a situation of utmost peril. Fortunately, for most of us, we will never have to face that ultimate test of one's deepest resolve. None of the 26 heroines in Kathryn Attwood's new book, Women Heroes of World War Two, thought of themselves as heroes but their actions beggar belief. For the greater good they defied or tried to defy the evils of Nazism, each trying in her own, individual way to throw a small spanner into the giant machine that was Hitler's Germany. Atwood has done a sterling job of pulling together the stories of 26 women, young and old, who acted with breathtaking heroism without due regard for their personal safety. Most of these 26 women lived to tell their tale but four of them did not. Sophie Scholl, member of the anti-Nazi group, The White Rose, was arrested and had to endure the mockery of a kangaroo court which ended inevitably with her execution. Three of the 26 were famous - actress and German exile Marlene Dietrich, opera singer Josephine Baker, and journalist, Martha Gellhorn. Famous or otherwise, all 26 stories are inspiring. Take Irene Gut, only 19 years old, she was asked "What can you do? You're only a young girl." But Irene did much - hiding Jews under the very noses of the Germans and living on her nerves to keep them undetected. When her antics were discovered by a Nazi officer, she was forced to become his mistress merely to protect her Jewish hideaways. Aimed primarily at the young adult reader, the book will appeal to any age, such are the stories told within. Atwood is tasked with a big responsibility - to do justice to the telling of these remarkable tales, and she does so with aplomb. The choice of photographs is excellent in bringing these women alive - lovely black and white shots of smiling, carefree girls. The photo of Scholl relaxing with her student friends could have been taken on any campus at any time if it were not for the Nazi uniforms. There is no hint of the responsibility of the task they have brought to bear upon themselves - the undermining by leaflet of Germany's blind belief in their Leader. The chapters are divided by country - Germany, Poland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain and the US. The stories of the five American women, including Dietrich and Gellhorn, are all based in Europe. Atwood provides a fine context - a general introduction that gives a brief overview of the war in Europe and the work of the resistance across the continent, and an introduction for each country. The story of each woman finishes with a `Find Out More' section, referring the reader to both printed and online material. Plus a glossary, a fuller bibliography and an index. The Soviet Union is an unfortunate omission, which given the ferocity of the Eastern Front and the work of the Soviet partisans, would deserve a book in its own right. That apart this is a wonderful piece of work that Atwood has produced and it deserves a wide audience. Rupert Colley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    “Women Heroes of WWII,” is a collection of 26 stories, each containing a tale of an inspiring woman or girl who lived and breathed during WWII. From the four corners of the world, you learn about strong individuals who did what they could to make a difference in the dark world they were living in. Some rescued Jews, others wrote illegal pamphlets, some were spies, some lived to tell their stories and some died for what they believed in. From all walks of life, from various backgrounds, different “Women Heroes of WWII,” is a collection of 26 stories, each containing a tale of an inspiring woman or girl who lived and breathed during WWII. From the four corners of the world, you learn about strong individuals who did what they could to make a difference in the dark world they were living in. Some rescued Jews, others wrote illegal pamphlets, some were spies, some lived to tell their stories and some died for what they believed in. From all walks of life, from various backgrounds, different religions, and separate social classes, these ladies left the mark on the world and are excellent role models for today’s youth. Though these ladies would never think of calling themselves heroes, read their stories and discover what true heroism is. I actually borrowed and read this book a couple of years ago as research for a WIP of mine and loved it. A couple weeks ago I saw that they were giving it away on Goodreads and signed up for a chance to win. Imagine my surprise when I received a message from the author herself asking if I would be interested in a free copy in exchange for a book review. Not only that, she also sent me her latest book “Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics,” to review as well. I give this book five stars, not only because of the stories of the ladies featured in this book, but because I love the writing itself. The style is easy to read, smooth but very detailed. I was thrilled to find many of my own personal heroines featured in there: Sophie Scholl, Irena Sendler and Sophia Podgorska. I was also introduced to many others that I was not too familiar with: Noor Inayat Khan (fun fact, there is a PBS documentary out about her called, “Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story”), Josephine Baker (had heard of her, of course, but had not realized all that she had done) and Martha Gellhorn (one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century). I hope to lend this book to my sister that way she can write a review too, but I’m selfish and plan to keep it for myself for future reference. Thank you, Kathryn Atwood for sending this to me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    For years I have been disappointed that there was a recognition lacking for women who have fought for their countries. The overall worldwide view (excluding some countries who include both men and women in their military) has been that women should not be exposed to the horrors of war and combat. But many have been in combat and have served in different ways. Now we see women in front-line combat. And at last the recognition, at least in the US, that women who fight and die should be acknowledge For years I have been disappointed that there was a recognition lacking for women who have fought for their countries. The overall worldwide view (excluding some countries who include both men and women in their military) has been that women should not be exposed to the horrors of war and combat. But many have been in combat and have served in different ways. Now we see women in front-line combat. And at last the recognition, at least in the US, that women who fight and die should be acknowledged as soldiers the same as men are and offered the same respect and honor. Some of the women in this book were working as spies, and so many have yet to be recognized for their bravery and commitment. Many died, alongside men who were also dedicated to freedom for their country. This book is worth reading as it acknowledges women who fought for their countries as the Nazis gained power and overran Europe in World War II. Some were subjected to constant torture but still refused to reveal their compatriots or what their missions were. Some were couriers, some nurses. It was heartening to see that all these women were recognized with honors and medals. Many said what our fighting men and women say today. They did not do their jobs for the medals or glory, but to protect their countries. This book tells the stories of only a few of the women who lead organizations and risked their lives. There were many more. Definitely worth reading.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Doreen

    I would love to see this book used in classrooms. It does read like a textbook...a very, well-written one! The stories for each hero are concise and delivered in a direct, explanatory manner. In my opinion, this is how history should be taught in our schools; in a way that is informative and understandable for students. It's a great introduction for twelve or thirteen year olds, to be exposed to non-military efforts against the Nazi's in WWII. For those in high school, the short biographies can I would love to see this book used in classrooms. It does read like a textbook...a very, well-written one! The stories for each hero are concise and delivered in a direct, explanatory manner. In my opinion, this is how history should be taught in our schools; in a way that is informative and understandable for students. It's a great introduction for twelve or thirteen year olds, to be exposed to non-military efforts against the Nazi's in WWII. For those in high school, the short biographies can serve as a starting point for further, more detailed study of the remarkable accomplishments of ordinary people whose brave efforts prove them to be extraordinary! Websites, films and books are recommended in the book, providing the opportunity to learn more about each of these heroic women. There is a glossary to assist with words like 'maquis', 'Wehrmacht', and 'onderduiker'. And, there is an extensive bibliography included, with asterisks signifying books that are well-suited for young readers. Of course, it's a fast read for us adults who also benefit from the stories and the book's bibliography. The book is an 'everybody can read it' book. The one I read is from the library. This is a book I will purchase for my own collection.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    As a World War II history buff, I was intrigued to find a book that centers on the role of women. These "26 Stories of espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue" do not disappoint. Atwood details the heroic exploits of women from all over Europe: Germany, Poland, France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Great Britain, as well as the United States. Whether famous entertainers like Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich or simply ordinary wives, students, teachers, these women step up to take their As a World War II history buff, I was intrigued to find a book that centers on the role of women. These "26 Stories of espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue" do not disappoint. Atwood details the heroic exploits of women from all over Europe: Germany, Poland, France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Great Britain, as well as the United States. Whether famous entertainers like Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich or simply ordinary wives, students, teachers, these women step up to take their place in history. Atwood briefly lays out the background history of the war and each country's particular role before delving into the actual accounts of the women, which is helpful. The photographs and additional information such as speeches also adds a haunting immediacy to the already stirring text. Included are very helpful "Learn More" text boxes which provide the reader with important follow-up information. Also included are a glossary and notes. This is a highly readable and engaging addition to the body of literature for grades 5-12 on this subject. Each account would easily work also as a short read aloud to inspire learning on this important topic. As a school librarian, I am looking forward to using this when my students study the second World War.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Good read. A series of articles about women heroes of World War II. Exactly what the title promises. The book is targeted for junior high and high school students. It focuses on the European theater of the war, beginning with a short summary of the beginning of the war before turning to the individual countries and the heroines from that country. For each country, there is a short history of what happened to that particular country-- when it was invaded, or in the case of Germany, how Hitler cam Good read. A series of articles about women heroes of World War II. Exactly what the title promises. The book is targeted for junior high and high school students. It focuses on the European theater of the war, beginning with a short summary of the beginning of the war before turning to the individual countries and the heroines from that country. For each country, there is a short history of what happened to that particular country-- when it was invaded, or in the case of Germany, how Hitler came to power, and a few of the main events-- Kristallnacht in Germany, or the takeover of the Danish government, etc. Then come the stories that explain each heroine's heroic deeds. At the end of each article, the editor provides references for further information if the reader wants to know more. It's a well-written book that doesn't talk down to the reader while still explaining everything they might not know. I liked it a lot and learned things I didn't already know. Well worth reading.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Great book for young adults learn about these 26 women. Though the separate part for each is short, there are suggestions for further information. I am thinking that learning history is becoming more and more important each day.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    just amazing what the women and the men were willing to go through to defeat the Axis powers.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maddly Peculiar

    I LOVED reading all these stories or heroism by these amazing women. Although this book only allows a small insight to what was going on, it was still incredible to read about just a fraction of what these women did during WWII.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I have always disliked that women are not as remembered as much as men who did the same thing as them in history. I do understand that women were not as empowered as they are today, but I also know that there had to be some awesome ladies who do awesome things. This book is abou those women during he Second World War. I enjoyed reading this and sharing it my children. My son was really impressed by how amazing some of the women featured were and how important some of their accomplishes were. For I have always disliked that women are not as remembered as much as men who did the same thing as them in history. I do understand that women were not as empowered as they are today, but I also know that there had to be some awesome ladies who do awesome things. This book is abou those women during he Second World War. I enjoyed reading this and sharing it my children. My son was really impressed by how amazing some of the women featured were and how important some of their accomplishes were. For my daughter this gave her a sort of I can do everything you can do, only better for a few days, secretly I like this, but it was slightly annoying for a few days. Highly recommended. Would be a great addition to any library.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rob S

    Women Heroes of World War II tells 26 different stories of women involved in espionage, sabotage, resistance, and rescue before and during World War II. These women came from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, and countries but each of them were fluent in the language of doing the right thing. Their stories are often the definition of bravery as they all put their lives on the line countless times in order to defeat the Axis Powers. Some of them even made the ultimate sacrifice in th Women Heroes of World War II tells 26 different stories of women involved in espionage, sabotage, resistance, and rescue before and during World War II. These women came from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, and countries but each of them were fluent in the language of doing the right thing. Their stories are often the definition of bravery as they all put their lives on the line countless times in order to defeat the Axis Powers. Some of them even made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. Author Kathryn J. Atwood does a wonderful job of gathering together these interesting stories and paying them the respect they deserve. A university student who helps make pamphlets that state the Nazis should be overthrown, a social worker who helped smuggle Jews out of a Ghetto, a woman who ended up running a spy network that contained over 3,000 spies, another woman who was responsible for the welfare of over 7,000 resistance fighters, and much more. These are the stories that are contained in this book. Atwood also does a fantastic job detailing some of the ways that women in countries that weren't being invaded helped the war effort, including in the United States. I enjoy how each chapter that focuses on women within a different country give an introduction to how that country became involved in the war and the impact it had on that country. Atwood is able to boil down into a few pages something that can be read by readers of all ages. Overall, Women Heroes of World War II gives well-deserved attention to an area of World War II that doesn't always get attention. These women may not have had single-handily won the war but the sum of their efforts made winning the war possible in the first place. I believe this book would be a fantastic asset for schools to give to students.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This book is best read with your teens or pre-teens aloud. There are real stories of courage, patriotism, and honor within these pages. Since it is organized first by geography, then person-by-person accounts, a few pages at a time can be read and discussed. Questions such as: What made this person brave? What things could have limited her or kept her from serving but that she did not allow to keep her from accomplishing her goals? How did her contributions, whether great or seemingly small, hel This book is best read with your teens or pre-teens aloud. There are real stories of courage, patriotism, and honor within these pages. Since it is organized first by geography, then person-by-person accounts, a few pages at a time can be read and discussed. Questions such as: What made this person brave? What things could have limited her or kept her from serving but that she did not allow to keep her from accomplishing her goals? How did her contributions, whether great or seemingly small, help others and the entire war effort? What did she overcome? What sacrifices did she make for this cause? Mehta did she believe in? What motivated her? Why do you think that she was included in this book? What have I learned from reading about this person? Reading this book helped me to pose questions like these to my own kids and then guide questions that helped them to look inward. So much in the study of history for children and teens is lost among the memorization of names, dates, etc. The real purpose of studying history and our past is in the human aspect of the events. Many times, it is the average ordinary person who faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles and shows bravery, ingenuity, and strength. One must also ask oneself: What can be learned from this? How/why did this happen? What can we now do so that WE don't repeat it? This book aides in this kind of study of history.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was an extremely informative, interesting book. I highly enjoyed it. I even learned from it. The stories of these brave women are inspiring. It takes a brave man to join the war and an even braver woman to join. They all put themselves in danger and risked their lives to help end the war. After reading this, I believe that WWII would not have ended as soon as it did if not for these women. I recommend this book to all the women/girls out there who are looking for inspiration. It truly makes This was an extremely informative, interesting book. I highly enjoyed it. I even learned from it. The stories of these brave women are inspiring. It takes a brave man to join the war and an even braver woman to join. They all put themselves in danger and risked their lives to help end the war. After reading this, I believe that WWII would not have ended as soon as it did if not for these women. I recommend this book to all the women/girls out there who are looking for inspiration. It truly makes you proud to be female!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rick Roche

    In her new collective biography, Kathryn Atwood recounts the heroic actions of women in the European theater of battle of World War II. Each quick-reading story profiles a woman who decided that surviving the war was insufficient and that active opposition to Nazi troops and agents was necessary to overthrow the menace of Hitler's regime. Some wrote and distributed anti-Nazi literature, others sheltered Jews and Allied soldiers, and still others became spies and saboteurs. All endangered their o In her new collective biography, Kathryn Atwood recounts the heroic actions of women in the European theater of battle of World War II. Each quick-reading story profiles a woman who decided that surviving the war was insufficient and that active opposition to Nazi troops and agents was necessary to overthrow the menace of Hitler's regime. Some wrote and distributed anti-Nazi literature, others sheltered Jews and Allied soldiers, and still others became spies and saboteurs. All endangered their own lives. German, Polish, French, Dutch, Belgian, Danish, British, and American women are included. Women Heroes of World War II is an admiring and nicely illustrated tribute that may be enjoyed by many ages. Seniors who remember the time will appreciate Kathryn's attention to the stories from their youth, baby boomers can learn about what shaped their parents, and younger readers can gain some knowledge of what will probably seem to them like the distant past. The immediacy and drama of the stories should hook even reluctant readers. School and public libraries should consider Women Heroes of World War II for teen and adult collections.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Loved this book! Easy, interesting, and inspiring stories! Loved that they came from all areas of the European theater and reflected all the various ways women resisted and helped during WWII. Definitely recommend! Read for popsugar 2017 challenge prompts: A book with pictures A book about an interesting woman (women!)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Silver

    As a specialist on rescue and resistance during World War II, I was impressed and enthralled with Kathryn Atwood's Women Heroes of WWII. Each well-constructed story, with historical background and unique elements of surprise, oppression, outraged reaction, and closure, carries its own weight as truth gathered from first-person testimony. Her detailed accounts of no less than 26 courageous women from various Nazi-Occupied countries raise burning questions in the reader's mind: How many other unsu As a specialist on rescue and resistance during World War II, I was impressed and enthralled with Kathryn Atwood's Women Heroes of WWII. Each well-constructed story, with historical background and unique elements of surprise, oppression, outraged reaction, and closure, carries its own weight as truth gathered from first-person testimony. Her detailed accounts of no less than 26 courageous women from various Nazi-Occupied countries raise burning questions in the reader's mind: How many other unsung female heroes played their roles in espionage, sabotage, resistance and rescue? What would I have done, what could I have done, if tested under such circumstances? And how can the parents among us raise courageous children who will stand up to injustice? Joanne S. Silver Researcher & Speaker on Survivor Testimony of the Holocaust, Chevalier in the Order of Academic Palmes & 2011 Recipient of the Outstanding Chapter Officer Award of the American Association of Teachers of French.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Therese

    Thank you to the Author, Kathryn Atwood, for sending our school a copy of her book!! Not finished yet but want to say it is excellent, I especially like the links to websites she includes on the end page of the biographies so you can find out more about these courageous and selfless women. This is a well-researched and presented book, detailing war experiences in lives that history generally tends to exclude or trivialize. Of especial note is the age of some of these "women"; so many of them were Thank you to the Author, Kathryn Atwood, for sending our school a copy of her book!! Not finished yet but want to say it is excellent, I especially like the links to websites she includes on the end page of the biographies so you can find out more about these courageous and selfless women. This is a well-researched and presented book, detailing war experiences in lives that history generally tends to exclude or trivialize. Of especial note is the age of some of these "women"; so many of them were actually girls. Many died and were executed protecting others, and for their belief that the Nazi's had to be stopped. This is a book of Heroes, and one that I recommend we all should read, because history will and is repeating itself. So many of our children are still sacrificing, are still dying, fighting that same evil generation after generation. Thank you to the author for writing about what these women did, and why.

  28. 4 out of 5

    KOMET

    Here is a book that would serve as an ideal primer for anyone wanting to know of the contributions made by women during the Second World War in the fight against the Third Reich. In particular, the personal stories of Noor Inayat Khan (who served as an agent in Britain's Special Operations Executive [SOE] in Occupied France, where she was eventually betrayed and fell into the clutches of the Gestapo), Sophie Scholl (a university student who was part of the "White Rose Movement", made up of Germa Here is a book that would serve as an ideal primer for anyone wanting to know of the contributions made by women during the Second World War in the fight against the Third Reich. In particular, the personal stories of Noor Inayat Khan (who served as an agent in Britain's Special Operations Executive [SOE] in Occupied France, where she was eventually betrayed and fell into the clutches of the Gestapo), Sophie Scholl (a university student who was part of the "White Rose Movement", made up of Germans who spoke out against Hitler), Hannie Schaft (a symbol of the Dutch resistance to Hitler), Ebba Lund, and Nancy Wake (who ran a resistance network in Southern France and killed an SS soldier with her bare hands!) I found very inspiring.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karine

    bought for my daughter after seeing Imitation Game and having a WW II discussion including the changing role of women. I was curious so I read a few pages...and couldn't put it down. Yes, it's written for a younger audience, but it's well written. There is just enough information on each spotlighted woman for it to be fascinating, and each written snapshot has both pictures and resources for further reading. It is NOT full of happy endings...but intriguing nevertheless. bought for my daughter after seeing Imitation Game and having a WW II discussion including the changing role of women. I was curious so I read a few pages...and couldn't put it down. Yes, it's written for a younger audience, but it's well written. There is just enough information on each spotlighted woman for it to be fascinating, and each written snapshot has both pictures and resources for further reading. It is NOT full of happy endings...but intriguing nevertheless.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Edmund Burke said, "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it". As a female veteran having seen the horrors of war first hand, as well as being a history buff, I was very interested in reading this book. I found it to be a gripping, emotional ride from page one. I laughed at these women's antics, cried for their heartbreaks, recoiled in horror at their descriptions of their exploits, admired their spunk and came to love them as adopted aunts. The bastardized words of "hero", "brave", Edmund Burke said, "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it". As a female veteran having seen the horrors of war first hand, as well as being a history buff, I was very interested in reading this book. I found it to be a gripping, emotional ride from page one. I laughed at these women's antics, cried for their heartbreaks, recoiled in horror at their descriptions of their exploits, admired their spunk and came to love them as adopted aunts. The bastardized words of "hero", "brave", and "amazing" simply doesn't do them justice. However, the biggest miscarriage of justice would be for them, and their contributions to WWII, to be forgotten. It wouldn't be a bad idea for this book to be required reading for high school students. Having said as much, I highly recommend this book.

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