Mary Walker Wears the Pants

The True Story of
The Doctor, Reformer,
and Civil War Hero

This post joins other Nonfiction Monday blogs hosted today
by Practically Paradise
and joins It's Monday!
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Albert Whitman & Company
(pub. 3.1.2013) 32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Cheryl Harness
     and Illustrator:  Carlo Molinari

haracter: Mary Walker

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "Mary Edwards Walker was always an outspoken woman. She was one of America's first woman doctors, and she fought for women's rights and gave speeches around the county. But she could also make a statement just by walking down the street - wearing pants in a time when women always wore dresses!
       When the Civil War struck, she set out to serve her country and treat wounded soldiers - not as a nurse, but a a doctor. She faced extreme danger behind enemy lines and for her bravery she received the Medal of Honor, the highest award a war veteran can receive. She remains the first and only woman to ever hold this honor..."

T antalizing taste: 

    "After the war, audiences in America and abroad paid to hear Mary tell about her Civil War service and her imprisonment - and to see her in her notorious gentlemanly suit. It got her laughed at and made people angry. It caused scenes and even got her arrested! ...
    But there was more to Mary than her trousers. She lived as she believed, as an individual, fully equal and entitled to walk, breathe, and think freely, unbound by a corset or her society's expectations."
and something more: I was intrigued by the statement that Mary Edwards Walker was "the first and only woman" to ever receive the Medal of Honor. The back matter explains that "in 1917, the U.S. Congress ordered 84 year-old Mary, along with 910 other honorees, to return their Medals of Honor. The rules had been changed: the medal could only be awarded to those who'd been in 'actual combat with the enemy.' ... Mary refused to give back her medal. She wore it all the remaining days of her life until she died... at the age of 86... And, on June 10, 1977, President Jimmy Carter officially restored the Medal of Honor to Dr. Mary Edwards Walker." Only fair given the injustice of taking back medals because the rules changed later!


Perogyo said...

This looks great! I am really interested in Japanese female medical pioneers but I don't know much about Canadian or American ones at all. Looks like about the same time frame though- late nineteenth century?

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

I have to find this book! We are researching women in the Civil War in school right now, and this would be a terrific book to share with my kids.