Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific

Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific


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In the early 1940s, young women enlisted for peacetime duty as U.S. Army nurses. But when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 blasted the United States into World War II, 101 American Army and Navy nurses serving in the Philippines were suddenly treating wounded and dying soldiers while bombs exploded all around them. The women served in jerry-rigged jungle hospitals on the Bataan Peninsula and in underground tunnels on Corregidor Island. Later, when most of them were captured by the Japanese as prisoners of war, they suffered disease and near-starvation for three years. Pure Grit is a story of sisterhood and suffering, of tragedy and betrayal, of death and life. The women cared for one another, maintained discipline, and honored their vocation to nurse anyone in need—all 101 coming home alive.
The book is illustrated with archival photographs and includes an index, glossary, and timeline.

Praise for Pure Grit
"Details of many nurses’ individual trials combine to form a memorable portrayal of their shared experience, one which will emotionally impact readers."
Booklist, starred review

"Primary source materials, especially the movingly matter-of-fact recollections of several of the nurses and personal snapshots, bring the story to life."
Kirkus Reviews

"Farrell doesn’t spare her young readers any grim details . . . She includes the challenges these women faced and the joy they felt on returning home. As awful as history can be, now might be the right time to introduce the next generation to this important period."
The Washington Post

In addition to photographs and helpful maps, the page layouts include facsimiles of the nurses’ letters and diaries. Young readers who enjoyed Tanya Lee Stone’s Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream will also appreciate this story of courageous women whose story was nearly forgotten."
School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419710285
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 02/25/2014
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 206,963
Product dimensions: 8.60(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 16 Years

About the Author

An award-winning journalist, Mary Cronk Farrell’s books have received many accolades and a SPUR Award. She lives in Spokane, WA.

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Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrisDinnison More than 1 year ago
Pure Grit is the gripping story of nurses in the Phillipines who were taken prisoner when the Japanese attacked during WWII. Hundreds of nurses survived brutal conditions, hunger, and imprisonment for more than three years. Mary Cronk Farrell has captured their stories through detailed research, an impressive collection of photographs, and lyrical, compelling writing. She personalizes each of the women, helping readers get to know them before, during, and after their ordeals. This story of all but forgotten war heroes will surprise and engage readers of all ages.
CyndyinIndy More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book! Anyone interested in WWII, Nursing or contributions women made during the war effort would enjoy reading this literary account of RN's being held captive in the Philippines during WWII. Many interesting stories and the photos are excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't read