Home Front Girl by Joan Wehlen Morrison
A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America

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Wednesday, December 10, 1941

“Hitler speaks to Reichstag tomorrow. We just heard the first casualty lists over the radio. . . . Lots of boys from Michigan and Illinois. Oh my God! . . . Life goes on though. We read our books in the library and eat lunch, bridge, etc. Phy. Sci. and Calculus. Darn Descartes. Reading Walt Whitman now.”


This diary of a smart, astute, and funny teenager provides a fascinating record of what an everyday American girl felt and thought during the Depression and the lead-up to World War II. Young Chicagoan Joan Wehlen describes her daily life growing up in the city and ruminates about the impending war, daily headlines, and major touchstones of the era—FDR’s radio addresses, the Lindbergh kidnapping, Goodbye Mr. Chips and Citizen Kane, Churchill and Hitler, war work and Red Cross meetings. Included are Joan’s charming doodles of her latest dress or haircut reflective of the era. Home Front Girl is not only an entertaining and delightful read but an important primary source—a vivid account of a real American girl’s lived experiences.


About Joan Wehlen Morrison

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Joan Wehlen Morrison (1922-2010) grew up in Chicago and attended the University of Chicago before moving to New York and later New Jersey. She was adjunct professor of history at the New School for Social Research. Susan Signe Morrison, Joan's daughter, is a professor of English literature at Texas State University-San Marcos and the author of two books on the Middle Ages.
Published November 1, 2012 by Chicago Review Press. 282 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Young Adult, Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Fourteen when she began recording her thoughts and day-to-day activities in her diary, Joan had an eye for detail and an intelligent sense of the importance of events that were occurring in the world around her.

Sep 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Home Front Girl: A Diary of L...

Publishers Weekly

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This contemplative and often entertaining collection of journal entries, poems, clippings, and sketches by the late Morrison, edited by her daughter, spans the tumultuous years between 1937 and 1943, which took Morrison from age 14 to 20, and took the world from the Great Depression into WWII.

Oct 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Home Front Girl: A Diary of L...

BC Books

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In the diaries, her mother indicated that she felt she was writing the diaries to some day be read and shared, and that is what her daughter has done with this book.

Dec 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Home Front Girl: A Diary of L...

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