Flygirl

by Sherri L. Smith

Teenager Ida Mae Jones was taught to fly by her daddy on his crop duster. Now she... read more

Teenager Ida Mae Jones was taught to fly by her daddy on his crop duster. Now she has everything but an actual license, since the flight test examiner refused to pass her because she is a woman. When she hears about the Women’s Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) program, Ida Mae is determined to join, going so far as to change the name and dates on her daddy’s old pilot’s license. But that deception is nothing compared to her next one: The WASPs don’t take Black women, but Ida Mae’s skin is so light she can pass as white. It’s a decision that will impact both her new friendships with other women trainees after she’s accepted into the program, and her relationships with the family and friends she leaves behind. Sherri L. Smith’s novel is a fascinating look at the WASP program during World War II, capturing the spirit and passion of talented women who were hungry for opportunities to take to the air and show what they could do. Smith weaves Ida Mae’s story into the fabric of that history, creating a compelling—and at times heartbreaking—look at both the sexism and racism of those times. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010

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