Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? Great topic and one that will be totally unfamiliar to most readers. I didn’t even know there were black women in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (or WAAC as it was commonly known.) Farrell focuses in on the experience of Charity Adams, the first black woman to become a WAAC officer, who eventually commanded the first battalion of black women to serve overseas during WWII. In this well-documented volume, Farrell uses an accessible narrative style, interlaced with extensive quotes from her subjects. The primary sources are outstanding — loads of high quality photos documenting the work and daily lives of these soldiers.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No. High interest topic, well-told and eye-popping. Note: the book is on the small side (about 6” x 8”), so not a large, Tonya Bolden-style scrapbook format.
To whom would you recommend this book? Students looking for information on black or military history. Well-suited for research or self-directed interest. Good read-alike for those who appreciated Steve Sheinkin’s 2017 book The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights,
Who should buy this book? Middle, high school or public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? 940.54
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? For those with an interest in WWII or African-American history, yes!
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: January 24, 2019