Author: Janie Hampton
Quote: “We might have been shipped to Timbuctoo. We might have been shipped to Kalamazoo. It’s not repatriation nor is it yet starvation. It’s simply Concentration in Chefoo!” – The 1st Chefoo Brownie Pack, Chefoo Japanese Concentration Camp.
Setting: Past – WW2
Premise: An authentic account of the brave and selfless acts of Girl Guides across the world during world war two, where young girls and women forced into dire circumstances stood up and said I will do my best. From the young messenger runners for MI5, to the secret Guide patrols of Auschwitz, Girlguiding ran through the lifeblood of these women who made it their mission to heal a broken world.
I don’t care if you were never in the Girl Guides, this book is an absolute must read for everyone. The amount of social history from around the world packed into this book is both immense and awe-inspiring. The story of the Polish Guides in particular had my jaw hitting the page. In war torn Warsaw they manned first aid posts, made hospitals and orphanages in the ruins, and dragged trollies of food across the blitzed streets directly to the frontline where the men defended the trenches.
Like all good Non-fiction Janie Hampton has weaved a story from history, creating a beautifully moving and impactful narrative that does the people who lived through this time justice. There are a few key main stories that twist together scattered with anecdotes. Some heart breaking, some hilarious, and more fun facts than you could fill a pub quiz with.
The core themes of this book focus on thriving through adversity and following the core values of the Guiding and Scouting movements. Whether the story was following a girl in London or a girl in a Japanese Concentration Camp, you couldn’t help but feel inspired by their unflappable characters, making this book a great inspiration and source of strength for anyone who needs a morale boost.
I’ve been in Girl Guiding since I was seven, so I’m not going to try and convince you that I am not biased in my opinion on this book. But I seriously urge everyone to read it for a unique perspective on our collective global history throughout a period in history where the male narrator dominates. No matter what your feelings are on the subject of Girl Guiding is, these women deserve your time.
You’ve heard enough about how much I like this book, but is this book you’re hunting for?
1. Do you want a strong female perspective on WW2?
2. Are you in the mood for some awe-inspiring non-fiction?
3. Do you want a to be amazed by the shocking feats these women pulled off in the face of annihilation?
If you answered yes, yES, YES! Then this might well be your next favourite read!