An NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2015 Martha Gellhorn jumped at the chance to fly from Hong Kong to Lashio to report firsthand for Collier's Weekly on the conflict between China and Japan. When she boarded the "small tatty plane" she was handed "a rough brown blanket and a brown paper bag for throwing up." The flight took 16 hours, stopping to refuel twice, and was forced to dip and bob through Japanese occupied airspace. Reporting Under Fire tells readers about women who, like Gellhorn, risked their lives to bring back scoops from the front lines. Margaret Bourke-White rode with Patton's Third Army and brought back the first horrific photos of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Marguerite Higgins typed stories while riding in the front seat of an American jeep that was fleeing the North Korean Army. And during the Guatemalan civil war, Georgie Anne Geyer had to evade an assassin sent by the rightwing Mano Blanco, seeking revenge for her reports of their activities. These 16 remarkable profiles illuminate not only the inherent danger in these reporters' jobs, but also their struggle to have these jobs at all. Without exception, these war correspondents share a singular ambition: to answer an inner call driving them to witness war firsthand, and to share what they learn via words or images.
Spanning 1914 to the present, the young women covered in this book became known for their intrepid fortitude. Places with mysterious names called to these women to bring back the story in their chosen medium. This book will show how the "woman's angle" was parlayed into opportunities of a lifetime; however, there are many other lessons to learn from this book. These women saw history while it was being made. Reading about them is far more fascinating than a textbook. This book would be wonderful to feature during Women's History Month. Discuss geography, plot their individual journeys on a map, and debate ethical issues they encountered. Add this highly readable book to your collection even if students read only one story. Lynne Douglas Simmons, NBCT Media Specialist, Colleton County High School, Walterboro, South Carolina. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED