Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Sister Mine

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Sister Mine

A Novel

by Tawni O'Dell

Sister Mine by Tawni O'Dell X
Sister Mine by Tawni O'Dell
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2007, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2008, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

US Military Recruitment Facts & Stats

After several bad years, all branches of the military met their 2006 & 2007 recruitment targets (figures below are 2007 stats rounded to the nearest 1000):

  • Army: 80,000
  • Navy: 37,000
  • Marines: 36,000
  • Air Force: 28,000

This was a relief for the military, as the ongoing war in Iraq has made recruitment increasingly difficult. It is rare to try to fill wartime ranks purely with volunteers. The Spanish-American War, Mexican-American War and Gulf War are the only conflicts since 1775 that did not rely in part on conscripts.

Targets were met by improving incentives and loosening standards:

  • In 2006 enlistment bonuses were doubled to $40,000, and other financial incentives such as college scholarships were sweetened.
  • The maximum age for recruits was raised twice, from 35 to 40 and then to 42.
  • The Army doubled its percentage of recruits who score on the lower level of the aptitude table, from 2% to 4%.
  • In 2006 the Pentagon issued over 8,000 waivers to convicted criminals who joined up (up 65% year on year) - those convicted of crimes such as aggravated assault and robbery are eligible for a waiver, those convicted of sex crimes and drug trafficking are not. 12% of Army recruits in 2006 had criminal records.

The Pentagon now has 8,000 recruiters who are instructed to talk up the excitement and personal growth potential recruits will experience in the military, and downplay the 4,000+ Americans killed and 30,000+ wounded to date in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nationwide, counties with the highest recruiting rates have incomes about 30% lower than average for their respective states. About 44% of recruits are from the South.

Popular recruiting grounds include high schools, shopping malls and the NASCAR racing circuit where the Army's interactive game, that allows potential recruits to fire a simulated machine gun at virtual insurgents, is a popular recruitment tool.

A growing portion of the Pentagon's $665 million advertising budget for recruitment is spent targeting parents with the message that military service instills confidence and direction in children.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, high schools are required to provide military recruiters with their students' names and contact information, unless students sign an opt-out form. National organizations such as the PTA complain that recruiters have been contacting 16- and 17-year-olds without parents' knowledge, and that tactics such as sending free t-shirts, Frisbees and video games, exploit kids' naiveté.


Surrogacy & Adoption

Another set of issues explored in Sister Mine are those surrounding surrogacy and adoption. The first link below is an interesting article about the "baby business". The second is an upbeat site providing a virtual meeting ground for the surrogacy community.

This article was originally published in April 2007, and has been updated for the May 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.