May 25, 2016 Dr. Jill Biden to Join Author, Combat Soldiers in Conversation About Combat Life Real and Imagined

Press Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020
Public Contact: Young Readers Center (202) 707-1950

Dr. Jill Biden joins young-adult author Michael Grant and two female combat soldiers in conversation, comparing and contrasting real and imagined events in World War II with 21st-century combat and military life, in the Library of Congress’ annual Jonah Solkoff Eskin Memorial program.

The program will take place Monday, June 6, marking the 72nd anniversary of D-Day, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. It is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, however, seating will be limited. A book signing with Dr. Biden and author Michael Grant will follow the program.

Grant’s new book, "Front Lines," imagines a World War II with enlisted soldiers of both genders, chronicling three young women of diverse backgrounds who are placed in combat alongside their male counterparts. It is the first of a planned trilogy.

Biden will facilitate a discussion with Grant, Lt. Cmdr. Kristen Hansen, a Navy fighter pilot, and Army Capt. Rebecca Murga, both of whom have served in combat. The program is presented by the Young Reader’s Center in the Center for the Book and the Veterans History Project.

A member of her own military family, Biden is co-chair with Michelle Obama of "Joining Forces" and has written a book for children titled "Please Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops."

Grant, author of the Gone series and the Magnificent Twelve series, has spent much of his life on the move. Raised in a military family, he attended 10 schools in five states and three schools in France. "Front Lines" is the first book in a genre-bending and transformative new series that reimagines World War II with female soldiers fighting on the front lines.

Hansen is a combat Navy fighter pilot. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Hansen made her first deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and then joined Operation Enduring Freedom. After graduation from Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), she became a strike fighter tactics instructor. Hansen has 66 combat sorties over Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and 472 carrier landings.

As a public-affairs officer, Murga has captured the soldier’s story in combat. She was attached to a Special Operation Command supporting SEAL teams and Special Forces in Afghanistan and received the Bronze Star for this service and the Meritorious Service Medal for service in Iraq. Currently, she is a captain in the Office of the Chief Army Reserve.

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, holds more than 162 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both, on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its website at

The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading promotion partners and through the Library’s Young Readers Center and its Poetry and Literature Center. For more information, visit


PR 16-093
ISSN 0731-3527