Alice at the Home Front

Book Cover


1940s & '50s

Mardiyah A. Tarantino

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"A strong-willed, patriotic young girl growing up during WWII dreams of being a war heroine in Tarantino's heartwarming tale... A story for children and adults, full of historical details and humorous anecdotes." - Kirkus Reviews



Short Summary

Alice, a ten year old patriot, wants to be part of the war effort by spotting enemy planes off the RI coast. Meanwhile, she dreams of becoming a war hero, folds bandages for the Red Cross after school, trails spies around town and encourages her playmate, a pilot, to join the Civil Air Patrol.

Alice doesn't hesitate to try joining the CAP, even though she doesn't know how to fly. The recruiter turns her down with a smile. One day, the CAP officer announces her playmate's plane has gone missing. Alice is furious at first, then she falls sick. Days pass with no word of the missing plane.


Providence, RI USA

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements


Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Alice

Age: 10-11

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Outspoken,Funny,Patriotic,Confident

Additional Character Details

Name: grandfather

Age: 70

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Faithful,Skillful,Funny

Additional Character Details

Name: mother

Age: 45

Gender: Female

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Blunt,Honorable,Outspoken,Empathetic

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

To this author's knowledge, there is only one other book for children written about War II at the Home Front, USA. Here, ten-year-old Alice, patriotic and feisty, is determined to become an enemy plane spotter from her high window and against her mother's advice, while her Gramps remains sympathetic. U boats, are depositing spies, and Alice, mistakenly, chases and confronts the woman to no avail. After school, she folds bandages for the Red Cross but at night, Alice has nightmares of planes on fire, crashing all around her. Alice's former playmate, Jimmy, a pilot, joins the Civil Air Patrol and Alice, disguised as a boy, tries to join, but is refused as she doesn't know how to fly. Alice, dreaming of becoming a war hero, skips down the street singing war songs, (Any Bonds Today?) while dogs bark after her and drivers line up with their ration cards at the pumps. In the store, she watches amused, as a wealthy neighbor is refused a piece of meat for lack of enough ration stamps. She reprimands another girl for wanting to buy black market candy. One day, Alice hears the CAP officer announce Jimmy is missing, and is furious. She falls ill waiting. Days go by, and he returns safely. Jimmy gets a medal at the Awards Ceremony where Alice is finally recognized and awarded one as well, for her patriotism and persistence. Her mother, finally, is proud of her.

About The Author

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Mardiyah Aldrich Tarantino began writing poems and essays for special occasions at a young age. In 1982, she wrote Marvelous Stories, a biography of Muhammad for young readers. Published in the UK, this book is distributed in schools globally and is still in print. Mardiyah wrote Life at the Cafe Berlitz , published in 2004, about the life of an ex-patriot actress in Paris. After obtaining a Master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, she wrote a spin-off of her thesis on youth culture entitled Band Mom, a sociological study of alternative bands. Since then, her essays, stories and poems have been published in newspapers, reviews and anthologies. Mardiyah is qualified to write this book for middle grade children because it reflects her own childhood ‘on the home front’ during World War II. Moreover, being a grandmother of fifteen children, she is familiar with their tastes and humor. At present, Mardiyah lives in Cathedral City, California, with her husband. She sits on the board of an international human rights charity, while being a member of the Palm Springs Writers Guild and the League of American Pen Women. Her hobbies are languages and painting.

Target Audiences

Age: 7-12,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: iUniverse

Year Published: 2011

Hard Copy Available