Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman’s Land Army of America

Most Americans know the story of Rosie the Riveter, the cultural icon representing the American women who went to work in the factories and shipyards during WWII when the men were away. But what about the women who stepped up to the plate during WWI? It wasn’t so much a problem of having all of the men go to war, but rather, the American farm workers were lured away from their farming jobs to earn higher wages working in manufacturing. There weren’t enough men to handle the crops needed to feed Americans and her allies. Well, it turns out that the Rosie of that time were women who trained to work on farms and got food to the public.

Doing Her Bit cover

In her book, Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman’s Land Army of America, Erin Hagar shows how young women joined the Women’s Agricultural Camp, which would later become the Women’s Land Army of America. The farmerettes, as they were called, were trained in all aspects of farming, but many farmers still didn’t believe that women were strong enough or skilled enough to do the job right.

Doing Her Bit 1

The story that Hagar focuses on is Helen Stevens, who was a real farmerette. Stevens was a college student when she signed up, but many women were dressmakers, factory workers, teachers, and housewives.

Doing Her Bit 2

 

The early Women’s Land Army of America girls had to prove that they could do the job and that they deserved the same wages as men. They were early fighters for equal rights and their story of perseverance and determination deserves to be told.

Doing Her Bit posters

As with most non-fiction picture books, the Author’s note was incredibly interesting and full of great facts. The inside front and back covers were filled with actual advertisements that were placed encouraging women to join in the land army.

nfpb2017Every Wednesday I try to post a non-fiction picture book as part of the  Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. There are truly so many amazing nonfiction picture books being published these days, it can be hard to contain myself sometimes. Make sure to check out Kid Lit Frenzy and the linked blogs to find some more fabulous books!

 

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5 responses

  1. I didn’t know about this, and how wonderful that the story is told. I laughed over the name “farmerettes”, but know that they worked so hard. I had one aunt who was a farmer’s wife, and she did so many wonderful things like apple butter in huge iron pots, etc., but there were times she had to work in the fields, too, and she could! Thanks for sharing, Michele!

  2. This is fascinating! I had never heard of the farmerettes, and I’m so glad that these pioneering women are being celebrated and introduced to young people.

  3. I loved this book. It’s wonderful to see books focusing on how World War II affected people not at the front. It’s not strictly nonfiction, but I loved Knit Your Bit for that same reason.

  4. I haven’t heard about this. It reminds me of how people are asking for a National Women’s History Museum and I think that’ll be a great idea to hear stories like this!

    1. It would be so great to have a National Women’s History Museum. I had never heard of this either. There is a wealth of information out there!

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