Mare's War: Book summary and reviews of Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis

Mare's War

by Tanita S. Davis

Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis X
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2009
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The parallel travel narratives are masterfully managed ... Absolutely essential reading. Ages 12+." - Kirkus Reviews

"Davis gives both major and minor character very distinct traits, making them memorable. She also has an ear for dialect and the speech of the 1940s, although the modern dialogue feels stilted in places." - VOYA

"A steady travelogue, realistic banter, memorable characters, and moments of tension, insight, and understanding make this an appealing selection." - School Library Journal

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Serena Alyssa Stevens

Mare's War
Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced by their parents to take a road trip with their grandmother from California to Alabama. They are always mortified to be seen with her, but their summer was filled with awakenings and life lessons. While on this road trip, Mare tells her grandchildren about her life while growing up in Alabama. Mare was a willful teenager in her own right, lying about her age to escape the segregated South and join the African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps during World War 2. She had to fight off segregated and discrimination in the Army with ‘‘White’s Only’’ signs. Mare only focused on serving her country for better, earning money for her mother to pay the mortgage, and not to get married to early like the other women did. She also faces her fears and sticks with her training even though it’s difficult. She overcomes her pride and agrees to lessons on learning proper English. When she moves to California after the war with her sister and Peaches, she marries and gives birth to a healthy baby boy. Later on, she finds out her husband is cheating on her and she leaves him for better. After Mare recounts her story to her grandchildren, they find themselves entranced to what Mare has accomplished throughout her teenage years and how Mare and the rest of Mare’s friends made it able for African American’s to fight in the war. Mare, Tali, and Octavia enjoy the rest of their road trip in Orlando, Florida.

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Author Information

Tanita S. Davis

Tanita S. Davis is also the author of the young adult novel A la Carte, published by Knopf in June 2008. A native Californian, she lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

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