Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse – Catherine Reef


51scn4hmaul Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse – Catherine Reef, Clarion Books, 9780544535800, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? This is nicely organized in chapters by roughly chronological order and written in a style that makes it nearly story-like while imparting details of Florence Nightingale’s life and works.  There is a decent notes section for each chapter (all at the back of the book) as well as a selected bibliography and index.  Many pictures and portraits from Florence’s life and the era are included (even some drawings done by her sister Parthenope); some in color and some in black and white or sepia.  They add context and break up the pages nicely. Due to the story-like nature of the text, you also get a good flavor for the history of Europe and the World during her life: a bit on customs, dressing, politics and cultural happenings (as well as war and medical practices) which could appeal to fans of Downton Abbey style shows/stories.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book?  Good for getting a solid (though aimed a younger audiences) biography of Florence Nightingale and moving beyond her couple years as a war nurse. Could be a great book for younger biographical reports or for older readers interested in this fascinating woman.

Who should buy this book? Public Libraries, Middle Schools, High Schools

Where would you shelve it? Biography

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you have even a passing interest in Florence Nightingale

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: April Duclos, Hudson Public Library, Hudson MA

Date of review: 11/29/16

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