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Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
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Mare's War

by Tanita S. Davis

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Octavia and Talitha are stuck riding along with their grandmother Mare cross country to a family reunion in Alabama. Mare's not like other grandmothers, and neither girl is happy with spending their summer this way. Along the way, though, they get to know a little bit about how Mare became the tough old broad that she is: she served in WWII, Women's Army Corp, in the all African-American 6888th battillion. Having escaped poverty and violence by entering the army in segregationist times, Mare not only learned skills that served her throughout her life, but experienced a less racist European lifestyle and came home with a resolve to change her life. Told in alternating chapters, titled "now" in Octavia's viewpoint and "then," Mare's story, this was a great book on many levels. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Octavia and Talitha are stuck riding along with their grandmother Mare cross country to a family reunion in Alabama. Mare's not like other grandmothers, and neither girl is happy with spending their summer this way. Along the way, though, they get to know a little bit about how Mare became the tough old broad that she is: she served in WWII, Women's Army Corp, in the all African-American 6888th battillion. Having escaped poverty and violence by entering the army in segregationist times, Mare not only learned skills that served her throughout her life, but experienced a less racist European lifestyle and came home with a resolve to change her life. Told in alternating chapters, titled "now" in Octavia's viewpoint and "then," Mare's story, this was a great book on many levels. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Octavia and Talitha are stuck riding along with their grandmother Mare cross country to a family reunion in Alabama. Mare's not like other grandmothers, and neither girl is happy with spending their summer this way. Along the way, though, they get to know a little bit about how Mare became the tough old broad that she is: she served in WWII, Women's Army Corp, in the all African-American 6888th battillion. Having escaped poverty and violence by entering the army in segregationist times, Mare not only learned skills that served her throughout her life, but experienced a less racist European lifestyle and came home with a resolve to change her life. Told in alternating chapters, titled "now" in Octavia's viewpoint and "then," Mare's story, this was a great book on many levels. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
Highly satisfying historical novel about a black woman's experience as a WAC during WWII. Octavia and Tali dread their upcoming summer road trip with Mare, their 80-year-old grandmother who still wears stiletto heels and push-up bras and is nothing like the typical cookie-baking, soft grandma. Familial tempers flare regularly during the drive but Mare is also sharing a story the girls were not aware of, when she ran away at 16 from an alchoholic mother and her mother's sexually abusive boyfriend to join the Women's Army Corps. Mare is determined to protect her younger sister and prove her strength and mettle on her own in the Army, while also coping with the racism. Mare strives for better in her life and never loses sight of her goals. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Told from the alternating perspectives of 15 year-old Octavia (an African-American teenager from California) and Mare, her elderly grandmother who enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II at the age of 17, this novel tells a heartwarming tale of intergenerational bonding while also filling a gap in historical knowledge.

Mare narrates two chapters (all entitled “then”) for every one that Octavia narrates (all entitled “now”) as they drive from California to Alabama with Octavia’s older sister, Tali. Along the way, Mare tells her granddaughters the story of how she came to enlist in the army during WWII, trained in the south, and served overseas in England and France. Mare’s story, which comprises the bulk of the novel, addresses a number of serious issues—attempted child sexual abuse, family strife, poverty, racial discrimination and inequality, lesbianism—as it highlights the numerous “wars” that Mare fought while growing up and serving in the Army in the 1940s. Along the way, Octavia and Tali come to appreciate their grandmother’s struggles and learn more about American history, all the while developing stronger familial bonds of their own with each other and with their grandmother.

The complementary narratives depict deeply contrasting stories of growing up as a Black woman during two different periods in American history. Educational without being pedantic, this novel serves as an entertaining way for adolescents to learn about and appreciate an often neglected aspect of American history. ( )
  jimrgill | Dec 29, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
“Mare’s War” chronicles a part of our history that is seldom written about but compelling to discover, and Tanita Davis makes it come alive.
 
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For all of us, lest some of us be forgotten
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It's just a  sporty red car parked across our driveway, but when I see it, my stomach plummets.  It's my grandmother.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375857141, Hardcover)

Meet Mare, a grandmother with flair and a fascinating past.

Octavia and Tali are dreading the road trip their parents are forcing them to take with their grandmother over the summer. After all, Mare isn’t your typical grandmother. She drives a red sports car, wears stiletto shoes, flippy wigs, and push-up bras, and insists that she’s too young to be called Grandma. But somewhere on the road, Octavia and Tali discover there’s more to Mare than what you see. She was once a willful teenager who escaped her less-than-perfect life in the deep South and lied about her age to join the African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.

Told in alternating chapters, half of which follow Mare through her experiences as a WAC member and half of which follow Mare and her granddaughters on the road in the present day, this novel introduces a larger-than-life character who will stay with readers long after they finish reading.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:37 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women's Army Corps.… (more)

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