Mare's War

by Tanita S. Davis

On a cross-country road trip with their standoffish grandmother, Mare, resentful... read more

On a cross-country road trip with their standoffish grandmother, Mare, resentful teens Octavia and Tali (both would rather be home for the summer) gain insight into Mare’s life as she tells them about serving in the Women’s Army Corp (WAC) during World War II. Mare’s reminiscences, told in first-person, present-tense chapters headed “Then,” form the heart of Tanita S. Davis’s novel, which paints a vivid picture of the past. Mare’s challenging home life and small Alabama town, the friendships she develops in the WACs, her training and assignments in the army, and the racism she and other Black soldiers face at home and overseas feel immediate and real. The experience in the WACs gradually changes Mare into a more confident young woman with eyes and mind open wide. The present-day chapters, headed “Now,” chronicle how both the cross-country journey and their grandmother’s stories affect the two sisters, who are often at odds. But surprising camaraderie—with one another and with Mare—develops over the course of the journey. (Ages 12–15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010

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