Mare’s War

Black History Fact of the Day: Beyonce Knowles, an award-winning singer, songwriter and actress, holds the record for the longest run on the Billboard Hot 100’s No. 1 spot in 2003 with the songs “Crazy in Love” (8 weeks) and “Baby Boy” (9 weeks).

A blend of historical fiction and road trip novel, Mare’s War is a great summer read. I have to admit I especially love the new cover (bottom).


“Meet Mare, a World War II veteran and a grandmother like no other. 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. Now she is driving her granddaughters—two willful teenagers in their own rite—on a cross-country road trip. The girls are initially skeptical of Mare’s flippy wigs and stilletos, but they soon find themselves entranced by the story she has to tell, and readers will be too.

Told in alternating chapters, half of which follow Mare through her experiences as a WAC and half of which follow Mare and her granddaughters on the road in the present day, this novel introduces readers to a larger-than-life character and a fascinating chapter in African American history.”

— goodreads

We think women in the military is a new thing, but in fact they played a huge role during World War II.

African Americans were there, too.

Black and White Airmen: Their True History

But perhaps one of the groups whose roles are least explored is that of African American Women.  The Women’s Memorial site actually offers a Brief History of Black Women in the Military, including some info on their roles in WW2.  Other sites contain resource lists and some great photos, but information seems to be a little scarce.

 It’s great to see some YA lit exploring the role African American women have played in history.  Mare’s War is only one example.  Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith explores the role of an African American female pilot during WW2 who has to “pass” as white if she wants the chance to fly.


Lookingfor more?

Goodreads has some great lists:

YA Holocaust and WW2 Novels


Civil Rights Books for Children


And don’t miss more from these authors and about African Americans in American History

Tanita Davis’s Blog

Sherri Smith’s Blog

Bio’s Black History Month Resources includes videos, timelines, biographies, and a Black History Fact of the Day.


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