Grace Banker and her Hello Girls Answer the Call


6 years & Up


Historical Figures


Military History

Claudia Friddell & Elizabeth Baddeley


I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not a holiday person, and I’m not an organized military person. But, on this military holiday (although it was started to honor those lost in the Civil War) I wanted to share another little known story, about the WWI telephone operators known as the Hello Girls. The creators worked closely with Grace Banker’s granddaughter Carolyn in order to create this book, which is a touch that makes the narrative so much more personal. There’s also a ton of back matter with photos, a timeline, resources, and a whole lot more!

Grace grew up before women’s suffrage was a right, they couldn’t vote. in 1917 when she applied to work overseas as a telephone operator, she was college educated, fluent in French, and trained switchboard operators. She was the perfect fit for the job and was named as their chief operator! Over the duration of two years in WWI, Grace led the Signal Corps Girls into various situations with varying degrees of safety, helping to connect phone calls and codes. I enjoy how this book takes quotes direct from Grace and put it in blue text, making it stand out as her first-person narration of her time spent in and around the battlefields.

This book was kindly sent by Boyds Mills & Kane, but all opinions and decisions to review are my own. One of the podcasts I listen also recently did an episode on the Hello Girls, Shmanners! If you’re intrigued by Grace Banker, definitely check out the podcast!

Claudia Friddell

Things You Might Want to Know about Claudia…(from her website):    

  • I grew up in Kansas, Virginia, North Dakota, and Minnesota
  • I started writing poetry in grade school
  • I come from a family of fabulous cooks and chefs
  • As a teacher, I loved going to school with my two children every single day
  • Being in water seems to inspire some of my best ideas—in the pool, the tub, or the shower!
  • I live in Baltimore and on the Eastern Shore with my husband

Elizabeth Baddeley

Elizabeth Baddeley is the New York Times Best selling illustrator of I DISSENT: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes her Mark (Simon & Schuster). She has illustrated many other biographies and non-fiction books for children including: The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank (Philomel), An Inconvenient Alphabet (Simon & Schuster), The Good Fight (Knopf), A Woman in the House (and Senate) (Abrams) and more! Elizabeth has also self-published the leading /only Kansas City themed coloring book for adults and children: Color Me Kansas City as well as the very personal Swimmer Girls which earned her a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators in 2011.

Prior to receiving her MFA from the School of Visual Arts (illustration as visual essay), Elizabeth had worked for Hallmark Cards and Barkley advertising in Kansas City. Her other interests include knitting ill-fitting garments for her son, wrangling cats and Boston Terriers, swimming and cooking. She resides in a historic neighborhood in Kansas City with her husband and young son. 

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