HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12Standing Up Against Hate, by Mary Cronk Farrell | Book Review

Standing Up Against Hate, by Mary Cronk Farrell | Book Review

The Children’s Book Review | May 13, 2019

Standing Up Against HateStanding Up Against Hate: How Black Women in the Army Helped Change the Course of WWII

Written by Mary Cronk Farrell

Age Range: 10-14

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (January 8, 2019)

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3160-0

What to Expect: Military History, African-American History, and Women’s Rights

There are countless books dedicated to the history of the second world war, and countless books celebrating the unsung heroes in African American history; Standing Up Against Hate, however, is unique in that it tells, with sensitivity and integrity, the story of how these two histories are intimately entwined.

Integrating historical evidence from academic and primary historical sources alongside photographs and newspaper clippings, this new volume skillfully demonstrates how prejudice and hatred for those deemed “other” by society – whether that means women, or African-Americans, or Jews – are not isolated problems, but connected issues which spring from a common root.

The volume focuses its exploration of the role of African-American women in the WWII military around the figure of Charity Adams and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).  However, in exploring Adams’ story, the volume also recovers the stories of many other courageous women who offered service at this time, as well as throwing light more generally of the role played by WWII in hastening integration in the armed forces.  Bringing the whole story to life are the numerous photographs and newspaper clipping which are liberally offered throughout the volume; these not only give faces to the voices made audible by the text, but also provide a flavor of the language and culture at the time.  The presentation of racist language – normal at the time but now considered deeply offensive and inappropriate –has been skillfully handled, and invites readers to contemplate the ways in which culture concerning racial difference has both changed and stayed the same.  Human details are included too, of the sort often left out of male-centric military history books: the volume documents, for example, the struggle of the African-American female soldiers to find hair products appropriate for African-American hair in Europe. This unique perspective on a dark period in American History makes this volume a fascinating and insightful read.

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About the Author

Mary C. Farrell is an award-winning journalist and the author of Fannie Never Flinched and Pure Grit. She lives in Spokane, Washington.

Standing Up Against Hate, by Mary Cronk Farrell, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Standing Up Against Hate by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with , , , , , and 

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Dr. Jen Harrison currently teaches writing and literature at East Stroudsburg University. She also provides freelance writing, editing, and tuition services as the founder of Read.Write.Perfect. She completed her Ph.D. in Children’s and Victorian Literature at Aberystwyth University in Wales, in the UK. After a brief spell in administration, Jen then trained as a secondary school English teacher and worked for several years teaching Secondary School English, working independently as a private tutor of English, and working in nursery and primary schools. She is an editor for the peer-reviewed journal of children’s literature, Jeunesse, and publishes academic work on children’s non-fiction, YA speculative fiction, and the posthuman.

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