Saturday, December 15, 2012
By Joan Wehlen Morrison
Chicago Review Press, 2013. 252 pgs. Biography
Joan Wehlen was just your average American girl, growing up in the Great Depression and then on the eve of, and during, World War II. She had a hard time getting to school on time and went through quite the series of crushes on boys, but she also worried about impending war and how those she knew would be impacted. While she worried about things like test grades, she also was a pacifist who didn't see how peace could come from war--and yet worked in aide movements to help the war efforts.
Covering from 1937 to 1942, this book is a compilation of Joan's diaries and school notebooks, which were found by her family after her death. Providing a day by day look at this time period, this is a fascinating look at the pre-war era. Although not as dramatic as The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, it's similarly poignant and also features a thoughtful teenager just trying to figure life out.