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Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis

Mare's War

by Tanita S. Davis

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This was a wonderful book. I loved the way that the chapters switched between the past and the present. I also loved how the book told the past from a voice that is not usually heard, especially not in school or textbooks. Wonderful, wonderful book. ( )
  eheinlen | Dec 27, 2011 |
2010 Coretta Scott King Honor Book"Aunt Josephine always says that running away from home was the best thing Mare ever did. You grandmother changed the world."Wish Goodreads had the image of the paperback cover -- I absolutely love it. Tavia and Talia are trapped on a summer roadtrip with their 80-year-old grandmother, Marey Lee Boylen. Mare's not a typical grandma -- no knitting, canes or sensible shoes for her. She wears stiletto heels, drives a red sports car, does whatever she wants and says EXACTLY what she thinks. When Mare announces she is driving across the country, from California to Alabama for a family reunion, her son decides that his two teenage daughters will go along to keep an eye on Mare and help her drive. Talia is like Mare, impulsive and adventurous, while Tavia is like her father, so cautious that she often can't do anything. Along their 2,000 mile journey, the girls hear Mare's stories about escaping rural Alabama and going off to join the Women's Army Corps in the 1940's, where she went to Europe to help fight World War II. The chapters alternate between their modern-day road trip and those stories of challenge, segregation, freedom and choices that the history books have mostly ignored. Mare is a character everyone should get to know! 6th grade and up. ( )
  KarenBall | Sep 24, 2011 |
The book is told from the grand-daughter's perspective (present day) and from the reminiscences of the Grandmother's rich history (as a WAC in WWII). A fun way for kids YA's to learn about the contribution of black American women. ( )
  knitwit2 | Jul 18, 2011 |
This book was a great read. It shared a lot of perspectives on the life of a young lady during WW II. Not only was it written in a lively style, but most of the information presented, was accurate. It was interesting to read and actually informative. Arlington Cemetery has a display about the WAC, which confirms a lot of what was in the book. ( )
  southerner4 | Feb 16, 2011 |
Mare’s War for Young Adults is a [fictional] account of a woman who served in the [actual] 6888th Postal Battalion of the Women’s Army Corps for African American women soldiers during World War II. Although this unit was trained for combat conditions, its primary function was to handle the thousands of pieces of backlogged mail in Europe during the war.

In Mare’s War, the parents of 15-year-old Octavia and 17-year-old Tali (Talitha) insist the girls accompany their 80-ish grandmother Mare on a cross-country driving trip from California to Alabama to see Mare’s family. Mare is not a “normal” grandmother who bakes and crochets. As Octavia describes her, “She wears flippy auburn wigs, stiletto shoes, and padded push-up bras.” Octavia, our narrator on this odyssey, is also appalled that Mare is loud and bossy and says what she thinks. Both girls are dreading the trip.

As they drive, Mare begins to tell them the story of growing up in rural Alabama and about her service in World War II, parts of her life the girls didn’t know about before. Through Mare, we hear a detailed account of life in the 6888th. She shares with them the problems with racism and sexism the women encountered, and how differently they reacted to it back in the 1940’s. They also hear about the pride of service by all these young women, and how well they mastered the tasks they were handed.

The chapters alternate between the modern day road trip and Mare’s memories. By the time the three get to Alabama, Mare has buried some old ghosts, and the two girls have a whole new appreciation of their grandmother.

Evaluation: This entertaining and educational book contains all sorts of positive lessons for teens, from respect for elders to some of the services rendered by nonwhite Americans in World War II. ( )
  nbmars | Feb 2, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (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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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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