Gladys Goes to War written by Glyn Harper, illustrations by Jenny Cooper, Puffin Books, 2016
Gladys was a real person who went to World War I because she didn’t want to sit at home knitting. She loved cars and driving so she ended up becoming an ambulance driver. Before the war, it was very unusual for girls and women to do the jobs of men.
ANZAC Day is a time to remember the people we have lost and to remember the high cost of war, especially when our planet is still a battleground in places. To share stories.
There are so many stories that come out of war. This story shows the courage of a young woman who followed her husband and became an ambulance driver in dangerous situations. She survived the war but her brothers and husband didn’t.
At the end of the war, she became very ill and spent a year in bed. But after that long rest, she found the strength to do extraordinary things. She drove across Australia with a friend and fixed her car whenever it broke down. She learned to fly and was the first woman in NZ to get her licence. She looked after war veterans when she was old.
This is a heart warming story that makes you feel sad and glad.
Gladys was a pioneering woman who showed us that we can do anything. Even when we have to face terrible hurdles.
Jenny’s illustrations are so full of life that they make you feel like you are there. I especially love the people. Jenny made these people matter to me.
Congratulations Glyn and Jenny – you make a great team. This beautifully written book is a must read!