A girl, a wagon and a war

driving-woodie-ford-station-wagonDriving WoodieFor many of us, World War II was illustrated in textbooks and lectures as a flurry of dates and a series of battles to be memorized and regurgitated. Truly understanding and appreciating what it must have been like to see it through a child’s eyes is an entirely different story.

Author Martha McMullen gives us a different look into that time period, bringing it to life in the pages of her book,Driving Woodie.

The book is written through the eyes of a young child named Nancy. In it we see how the family meets the challenging moments of the time as well as the things they did to help contribute to the war effort.

“[There is a] paucity of literature about American children’s experiences of World War II. The home front was not just about Rosie the Riveter,” McMullen said of her interest in penning this tome. “Also, wanting to celebrate the Woodie Wagon. For me, Jolly was, indeed, a family member, and the Woodie Wagon is a piece of Americana.”

Woodie refers to the family’s beloved 1941 Ford station wagon that McMullen’s father brought home. McMullen, the youngest of three children, named it Jolly.

Americans have always had a longstanding love affair with their cars, and McMullen’s family was no different.

“I am not the only one who is nostalgic about Woodies,” she said. “Passionate is the word that comes to mind as the response about Jolly from people who had a Woodie in their growing-up years.”

As this is the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, the book was written with two audiences in mind: those who’ve lived it and those who want to learn more about the period.

“I think the book will be full of recollections and ‘a-ha’ moments for my contemporaries, especially those who lived on the East Coast of the U.S. And I believe it will inspire them to tell or write their own stories of the time.”

McMullen will participate at Showcase the Writing an event at the Kravis Center that introduces writers to the public – on March 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, visitwww.kravis.org or call (561) 832-7469. For more information about the author, visitwww.marthamcmullen.com.

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