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Reviewed by Luwi Nyakansaila for Readers' Favorite
Gracie and the Radar Girls: Women's Air Raid Defense written by Karen J Moore and illustrated by Lyn Meredith is a picture book dedicated to the brave women who volunteered to work in the Women's Air Raid Defense division during World War II. The book follows the exploits of Grace Hudlow Odell, who served on the island of Oahu. The year is 1941, and Gracie, a sixteen-year-old girl, is informed of the attack on Pearl Harbor. She is overwhelmed by the news of the war and struggles to understand what is happening. After graduation, Gracie immediately applies for a top-secret job in the Hawaiian Islands. She passes the tests and background checks and boards the Liberty ship. Gracie meets other girls on the island, and they train on how to operate the radar system. The girls work effortlessly and diligently to save lives and win the war.
Gracie and the Radar Girls amazed me, as the concept is not what I had expected. A picture book narrating the story of a young girl who decides to serve her country during the war is unique and inspiring. The account is perfect for children and adults. I loved the development of Gracie from being a naïve teenager to serving in the military. The narration by Karen J Moore is not all doom and gloom because the story includes some light-hearted moments. Lyn Meredith did a great job with illustrations that accurately depict the 1940s culture and lifestyle. I loved the pictures at the end of the book showing actual people and documentation from World War II. I applaud Grace Hudlow Odell for sharing her story. Amazing work.