Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America
Joan Wehlen Morrison
Chicago Review Press, 2013 (2013)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
hat were teenagers thinking in the late 1930s and early 1940s? Using a diary format, Chicagoan Joan Wehlen gives the reader a pretty good idea of what was on the minds of some American young people during the Great Depression and in the days leading up to World War II.
aken from Morrison's journal, these entries detail the thoughts and activities of the only daughter of working-class Swedish immigrants. Morrison candidly addresses the pain of adolescent love, the daily routine of school life, and her feelings about friends and family.
ortunately, the narrative isn't totally directed inward and the young woman also gives the reader her reactions to what is happening in the world around her. Her comments touch upon the Lindbergh kidnapping, FDR radio addresses, Churchill and Hitler and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
esides eight pages of black and white photos, there are poems, doodles, and drawings scattered throughout the book that provide further insight into the author's state of mind at this time.
his is an interesting way of looking back at an important period in history and trying to understand how what was happening affected the lives of young people. It makes the headlines and the commentary in the history books more understandable.
creative teacher or parent homeschooling a child might wish to use this book as the model for having a child keep a similar journal in which she reacts to what is going on in the world around her.
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