Children's Literature - Meredith KigerThis interesting biography tells the story of one of the first female doctors in the United States, and her struggles to be accepted in her profession. Born in 1832 in upstate New York to a forward-thinking farm family, Mary was encouraged from her early years to think for herself and pursue any dream she had. She graduated in 1855 from Syracuse Medical School, and a year later married a fellow graduate. Soon divorced, however, she set up practice in Rome, NY. Her family were abolitionists, so by the time the Civil War began, Mary wanted to help wounded soldiers on the battle front. The remainder of the story chronicles Mary's efforts on the battlefields as well as the concerted discrimination against her as a woman and a doctor. Her unconventional behavior and beliefs made her a target throughout her life. Detailed descriptions of battlefield life and the Civil War in general are a large part of the story. Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for her service, it was later rescinded on a technicality, but recently restored. It's an inspiring story of Mary's tenacity, and an eye-opener on discrimination against women. Period photos and prints add interest for young readers. A timeline, sources, bibliography, web sites, and an index are included.
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