10 smart young adult books perfect for grownups

These books may be targeted at young readers, but they won’t disappoint the adults who find them.

1. 'Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific,' by Mary Cronk Farrell

The heroism of Army and Navy nurses stationed in the Philippines who suddenly found themselves in the thick of World War II is the focus of this book. The nurses' relatively routine assignments became anything but as the Japanese invaded the Philippines and they found themselves dealing with wounded and dying soldiers, and even struggling for their own survival in prison camp.

Here’s an excerpt from Pure Grit:

“Though confronted by carnage from the first day of the war, the nurses never became hardened to shattered and bleeding bodies. That night they tightened tourniquets and treated shock with tears streaming down their faces. Most had learned to draw upon a ‘blessed numbness’ that allowed them to do their job. But when faced with such mass suffering and death, something cracks inside the human soul. Juanita [Redmond] said, ‘You can’t ever be quite the same again.’

“Josie Nesbit believed that her charges kept going, in part, because there was no place to hide and no way to escape.”

(Abrams Books for Young Readers, 160 pp.)

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