Book Hoot # 22 When The Hipchicks Went To War

When I picked this up, I was sceptical. How could a 16 year old find herself performing for the troops in Vietnam? But, I went along for the ride. And I was really glad that I did because when you get to the author's notes at the end, you realise that not only was it possible, that it did happen.

This is a well researched and tightly written narrative by Pamela Rushby which sensitively explores issues surrounding the Vietnam war.

Kathy is ready to leave school- but the possibilities open in the 60s are limited. She is frustrated setting perms at the local salon, her friends are heading in different directions and she dreams of breaking free from her insular town. The first step is a job as a go-go dancer, but the real opportunity comes in an audition to entertain the troops in Vietnam. So Kathy flys off with two other girls who make up The Hipchicks. They come back to earth awfully quickly.

As well as looking at this fascinating period in history, there are other themes that the novel touches on: what happens when your best friend is protesting against conscription and you're essentially earning a living from war, the tricky relationship between mothers and daughters and all the drama of first romances.

A very satisfying read, recommended for 14-16 year olds.

Happy tales,

Barking Owl

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