Catherine Reef's new young adult biography is Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse. Her other books include Noah Webster: Man of Many Words; Frida & Diego: Art, Love, Life; and Leonard Bernstein and American Music.
From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: Why did you decide to write about Florence Nightingale, and what are some of the most common perceptions and misperceptions about her?Visit Catherine Reef's website.
A: I can sum up why I wrote this book in three words: what a story! A privileged daughter in Victorian England feels compelled to go against the expectations of her parents and society to pursue a life in nursing.
Then, within a few years of embarking on her hard-won working life, she is placed in charge of nursing in British military hospitals throughout the Crimean War zone. Once there, she turns around a wretched situation, saves hundreds of lives, and goes on to elevate the profession of nursing.
Many, many books about Nightingale had been written for young children, but I saw that very little was available for adolescents and teens.
This was a shame, because there is so much in Nightingale’s story that will speak directly to them. What young person hasn’t felt misunderstood by his or her family or society? Who, while growing up, has not felt chosen for an uncommon destiny?
The image of Florence Nightingale that comes to mind for most people today is the one that was...[read on]
Coffee with a Canine: Catherine Reef & Nandi.
The Page 69 Test: Frida & Diego.
My Book, The Movie: Noah Webster.
Writers Read: Catherine Reef (September 2015).