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A Star for Mrs. Blake
By April Smith
The United States Congress in 1929 passed legislation to fund travel for mothers of the fallen soldiers of World War I to visit their sons' graves in France. Over the next three years, 6,693 Gold Star Mothers made the trip. In 1931, five mothers, Wilhelmina Russell, Cora Blake, Katie McConnell, Minnie Siebert and Genevieve (Bobbie) Olsen embark on a poignant and heart breaking journey to Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery to say good bye to their sons. Cora Blake, the organizer for this trip, deliberates on whether or not to make the journey, but does so out of love for her son and the need for closure. In addition to these characters, the journalist Griffin Reed who lives with a tin nose or metal face presents another picture of the horrors of trench warfare. The lives of all are irrevocably changed as secrets, a death, and a scandal become part of their experience. A Star for Mrs. Blake is a beautifully written story about a chapter of American History. An educational and enriching story awaits any who pick up this title.
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Review by Karen J. Harris, Librarian, Norcross Branch, Gwinnett County Public Library