Home Front Girl
Joan Whelan Morrison
Chicago Review Press, 2012

Remember Anne of Green Gables’ delightul, dramatic, so-very-intense-and-everything-is-so-of-the-moment-and… voice? That’s what this collection of real diary entries reminds me of. Joan Whelan was a teenager in Chicago in the years leading up to WWII. Her daughter collected the entries, edited them down, and produced this book which is a fun peek into the world of teenaged girls in the late 30’s. And you know what? Some things never change. Sure the culture has evolved. We have different national issues (actually, they’re remarkably the same but the particular details are different). We have different pop culture icons. We have TV (!) and even post-TV entertainment (!!). But, as Joan shows us in the pages of her long ago diary, teenagers are much the same at heart.

I confess that I didn’t finish this book; my ARC borrowing limit expired before I finished it (those pesky Digital Rights Management things). I enjoyed what I read, didn’t find it earth shattering, and will probably not seek out the actual book to finish it. Still, I imagine many teen girls who have even a remote interest in history will enjoy this read–if only to see that their mothers and grandmothers might understand them better than they think! I cannot speak as to Joan’s politics/theology, but that would be worth noting/discussing with your teens–especially the impressionable, dramatic ones likely to feel that Joan “gets” them like no one else ☺.

Cover image from goodreads; ARC with thanks to Chicago Review Press via netgalley

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