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3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  211 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
For as long as Margaret Ann Motley can remember, she has been waiting and hoping for one thing -- a room to call her very own. And when Margaret's older sister leaves for college, it looks like Margaret's days of waiting are over. But then disaster strikes. Its form: an English cousin named Courtney who has been forced to flee 1941 London because of the blitz. Not at all c ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 20th 2006 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankStalingrad by Christoph FrommBlackout by Connie WillisDEBUNKING HOLOCAUST DENIAL THEORIES by James MorcanThe Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
Books about the World War II era
21st out of 42 books — 5 voters
Number the Stars by Lois LowryBreathing Room by Marsha HaylesThe War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker BradleyThe Children of the King by Sonya HartnettThe Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
Middle Grade set in the 1940s
39th out of 104 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jun 16, 2011 Ruhama rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Margaret Ann has been longing for her own bedroom almost her entire life. She lives on a farm in Virginia and this story takes place in the 1940s. Over the course of the next few years, Margaret Ann gains and loses a room to her self as events transpire around the world due to World War II. First, her oldest sister moves out to college, so she gets her room. But her long lost aunt and cousin come to stay from England, so she loses the room. Margaret Ann's cousin completely changes her life, as n ...more
Taylor Geare
May 08, 2014 Taylor Geare rated it it was ok
In Homefront by Doris Gwaltney we follow a girl by the name of Margaret Anne who is exsasperated with her Grabdmothers snoring, her two twin sisters and most everything else. All she desires is her own room. Her wish is granted when her big sister Elizabeth moves away to college, her of course getting her room. This happieness is short lived though when she learns her aunt and cousin are coming to live with them when they have never been spoken of more then once.
When expenting her cousin to be a
Jun 26, 2014 Eileen rated it it was amazing
At the start, I thought this would be like the typical teen story - Margaret Ann's cousin Courtney arrives and is an instant popular success both at school and home, while Margaret Ann finds herself left on the side. But the story becomes more interesting when Margaret Ann starts reflecting on her own behaviour and realises the source of her current problems are not wholly due to Courtney. The two girls slowly begin to accept each other. By becoming more aware and understanding of other people, ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Margaret is looking forward to her older sister going to college. The family lives with Grama in the family farmhouse. Margaret sleeps with Grama. Margaret is in her room 3 days when she is told to vacate for her English Aunt, coming home to escape the London Blitz. Aunt Mary Lee has a daughter, Courtney, who captures the attention of family and friends. Margaret and Courtney are the same age.

What follows is Pearl Harbor, Margaret's brother enlisting in the Navy, sister Elizabeth marrying her hi
Zainab Mansoor
Feb 27, 2015 Zainab Mansoor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was totally awesome! I didn't expect it to be this good because I had judged the book based on its blurb summary, so it really exceeded all my expectations. The book was set in the 1940's, and usually I prefer to read books about the future, not about the past. However, its plot was touching and in many instances you could really relate to the main character. The book was about a girl named Margaret Ann Motley who lives her life perfectly fine until her English cousin, Courtney, comes ...more
Aug 26, 2015 Yaqueliné rated it it was ok
I honestly thought that I was going to enjoy reading this book. Unfortunately that did not happen. The story was too bland than what the actual summary had to promise that even in times I felt bored. Maybe if it were more appealing or more exciting would I actually would like the book. The story-line lacks drama and the characters were too dull. This is not the book that you're looking for if you want to impact your life.

The only character that I did felt I connection was with Margaret Ann since
Nov 15, 2010 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For my book review I read the book, “Homefront” by Doris Gwaltney. I enjoyed this book a lot. It was my favorite type of book, books about World War II. “Homefront” was a good story with suspenseful events. Doris Gwaltney does an amazing job at capturing the historical events of World War II and creating it into a story for younger readers to understand.
The setting of “Homefront” takes place on a farm in a little town in Virginia. The story takes place during World War II. The cha
Alex Baugh
Jun 09, 2011 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
Homefront begins in the summer of 1940 and the war in Europe hasn’t yet really effected the Motley family very much on their farm in rural Virginia. Older brother Johnny works on the farm with his dad, eldest daughter Elizabeth is preparing to go off to college, new 7th grader Margaret Ann will finally have a room of her own, instead of sharing one with her grandmother, and twins Paige and Polly are looking forward to finally starting school.

Margaret Ann no sooner gets settled in her new room,
Dec 30, 2012 Alexa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Taken place during the time around World War 2, Margaret Ann is about to get her own room since her older sister is leaving for college. She has been waiting for this day to come for a very long time. Time passes, the war is starting, and it has only been a month since she had her own room, and goes back to sharing a room. What makes Margaret upset is that she has to give up that room to her cousin, Courtney, that she has never even met before. When she goes meet Courtney, they instantly become ...more
May 06, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 10-16 year olds
Margaret Ann is 12 years old, content on her family farm in Virginia, and happy with her "boyfriend since age five". Things begin to change as her older sister goes off to college. She has shared a room with her Grandmother ever since her little twin sisters were born five years before. At last, with her sister gone, she will get a room of her own. But with World War II moving ever closer, her peace is not to last - she soon has to give the room up to her aunt and her cousin Courtney, who have f ...more
Sep 15, 2013 Theresa rated it really liked it
Shelves: ww-2, ya-fiction

I really enjoyed this book! Although shelved in our library as "Juvenile Fiction", both because of it's length (over 300 pages) and the themes within this novel, I think "Homefront" qualifies more as a "Young Adult Fiction" book.

Margaret Ann, the narrator in this story, tells what her life is like on a farm in Virginia during the years of World War 2. How it affects her own life, family relationships, friends at school and her neighborhood makes for fascinating (and realistic) reading.

The author
Gwaltney's YA book tells the story of Margaret Ann Motley, who's been waiting her whole life for her sister, Elizabeth to move out so she can have her own bedroom. Unfortunately, just as Elizabeth leaves for college, their aunt and cousin move in and steal Margaret Ann's room out from under her. Courtney, Margaret Ann's cousin, has arrived in Virginia with her mother from England, fleeing World War II and its many disastrous implications for them living in such dangerous times. The battle betwee ...more
Bethany Miller
3.5 stars

Margaret Ann Motley has been sharing a bedroom with her grandmother for the past five years – ever since her twin sisters were born, and she is looking forward to finally having her own room when her sister Elizabeth goes away to college. When Elizabeth leaves Margaret Ann feels sad and excited at the same time, but her excitement is short-lived. Her parents tell her that her aunt and cousin are coming from England, where World War II is raging, to stay with them on their Virginia farm.
Jan 28, 2016 Jen added it
(2006)Margaret Ann is a thirteen-year-old girl living in in rural Virginia during WWII. Margaret Ann's life changes dramatically when her aunt and cousin Courtney come to stay with her family after being forced to leave because of the blitz in London. Margaret Ann dislikes Courtney almost immediately and continues to until her brother decides to leave the family to enlist in the Navy. These and other events bring the two cousins together as best friends amidst the trying times of war.
Jan 02, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This book was very well-written, and followed a young lady, Margaret Ann, as she grew up during the WWII era. It showed the hardship of the war, without being overly depressing, it was realistic (major characters who went off to war did actually die, or were captures, or came home), and I thought the perspective of the young girl was very life-like (she was concerned about the war and her brother fighting in it, but the story showed that life went on for those at home - Margaret Ann still got hu ...more
At first I thought this story was a bit slow. I didn't like the main character, and I couldn't tell if her thoughts were more in diary form or what. Courtney's character was not very well thought out either; the reader couldn't tell if she really was the villian or Margaret Ann was simply exaggerating. However, I did enjoy watching the progression of Margaret's Ann's character from selfish child to mature, helpful teenager. Also, I enjoyed the fact that she wasn't your typical small town heroine ...more
Dec 05, 2012 Lynne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Lynne by: found it on the table at a literacy conference for teachers
3.5 stars

Still waffling about my rating of this book. At times I felt Gwaltney's pacing was a bit "off." Not much time is spent developing Margaret Ann and Courtney's friendship; the changes experienced by the two girls, the events in the larger world that finally hit home, cause the changes in the girls' attitudes toward each other to happen practically overnight. And yet, that's how growing up is in the real world: something happens, either wonderful or terrible, that changes your life and you
Mel Raschke
Feb 22, 2012 Mel Raschke rated it really liked it
Gwaltney uses the backdrop of WWII to mature Margaret, but does so with a subtle and deft touch, letting the character grow and develop in front of the reader's eyes at a realistic pace. The supporting characters are equally delightful, especially Margaret's grandmother, a holier-than-thou matriarch who is the perfect foil for her headstrong granddaughter. Through the gradually maturing eyes of its teen-aged narrator, we see how war both constrained and expanded their lives. People who in normal ...more
May 28, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it
Shelves: juv-fiction, 2014
This is a good book for 8-14 year old children. It covers the WWII from the "Homefront" of a Virginia Farm. This is a good book for historical fiction buffs and for teaching what is was like for those here in the US. However it didn't cover the anti-war sentiment that was prevalent during that time. It is a good safe coming of age story.
Nov 20, 2012 Bonnie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this "coming of age" story about Margaret Ann, a young girl in rural Virginia growing up during WWII. Her farming family goes through a lot of changes during this time, including the arrival of her aunt and cousin from England. Margaret Ann does not get along with cousin Courtney. I had a hard time with this relationship for a while, the typical "Courtney is perfect and everything Margaret Ann says or does is wrong". Margaret Ann's older sister gets married, her older brother jo ...more
Jan 11, 2010 David rated it really liked it
At first I was annoyed with the young characters in this book. However, as World War 2 progresses and many individuals become involved and majorly effected by the times, I saw an amazing growth within the characters of Courtney and Margaret Ann.

This book accurately captures the ANNOYING pre-adolescent spirit of rebellion and anger. Courtney, the British know-it-all, and Margaret Ann, a stubbornly selfish little bitch, eventually learn to live and love, and also to see the greater world around th
Little Morales
This book is very good, in some ways it can be really depressing. I hope more people read it in this class because its really good.
Mary Batten
Jan 30, 2012 Mary Batten rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written YA book that perfectly captures the tone of its narrator, Margaret Ann Motley, a young girl growing up in rural Virginia during World War II. Her world is thrown in turmoil when her English cousin Courtney and aunt Mary Lee arrive to escape the bombing of London. Doris Gwaltney skillfully depicts the conflicts arising between the two cousins and Margaret Ann's struggle to resolve them. Using humor and realistic dialog, Gwaltney deftly depicts her young narrator's em ...more
Bill Glose
Aug 14, 2013 Bill Glose rated it really liked it
Set in Southern Virginia just before the outbreak of World War II, Homefront is a coming-of-age story for young Margaret Ann Motley, whose main worries are getting her own room when her sister leaves for college and keeping her boyfriend’s attention away from her cousin. But when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, a new set of concerns takes their place. Gwaltney’s tale of a family dealing with the hardships of war is made even richer through her vivid and accurate depiction of farm life during tha ...more
Aug 28, 2015 Lani rated it really liked it
A quick read, but I couldn't put it down.
Sabrina Styles
Apr 05, 2014 Sabrina Styles rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it
A farm family in Virginia undergoes tremendous change in their lives during WWII with bringing in British relatives, the coming of age of the kids in the family with the attendant jealousies and fears, rationing, shortages, but mostly the uncertainty of the times.
This is a sweet historical fiction story set during WWII in rural America. It is a common tale, the adolescent child trying to deal with both the trials and tribulations of adolescence and the problems and worries that come with rationing and the menfolk gone off to war. Three generations populate the farmhouse and work the farm, while the war effort changes their peaceful and predictable life.
Mar 23, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it
I found this book just by browsing the bookshelf at the library. And I'm so glad I did. This is a fun story told from the point of view of Margaret Ann, a 12 year old girl from a farm family. The story takes place before and during WWII. Margaret Ann tells it like it is and it's interesting and funny to hear her thoughts. She grows up over the course of the book. I really enjoyed this book.
Jan 21, 2010 Adrienne rated it it was amazing
Wow. When I bought this book a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't sure it was going to be that good. But I really loved it. It totally brings history into a real perspective. The characters are so believable and easy to relate to, and I loved the book from beginning to end. I couldn't put this one down. It's kind of an easy, fast read; but it's got a lot of great stuff in it.
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Doris Gwaltney is the author of three historical novels. Her debut novel, Shakespeare’s Sister (1995), is about Judith, a fictional sister of Shakespeare whose great passion is to write and act. Duncan Browdie, Gent. (2002) follows the rise of an impoverished Scottish boy in 18th century Virginia from indentured servitude to gentility. Gwaltney’s most recent novel, Homefront (2006), is the story o ...more
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