- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Speak (Sept. 16 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142417254
- ISBN-13: 978-0142417256
- Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 1.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #401,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Flygirl Paperback – Sep 16 2010
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-A dynamic, heartfelt novel.+ -The Washington Post
-A thrilling, but little-known story that begs to be told. The book is at once informative and entertaining.+ -School Library Journal
About the Author
Sherri L. Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois and spent most of her childhood reading books. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she has worked in movies, animation, comic books and construction. Sherri’s first book, Lucy the Giant, was an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults in 2003. The Dutch translation, Lucy XXL (Gottmer, 2005), was awarded an Honorable Mention at the 2005 De Gouden Zoen, or Golden Kiss, Awards for Children’s Literature in the Netherlands. Sherri’s novel, Sparrow, was chosen as a National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and is also a 2009 Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award Nominee. Upon the release of Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet in February 2008, Sherri was featured as a spotlight author for The Brown Bookshelf's Black History Month celebration, 28 Days Later. Flygirl, an historical YA novel set during World War II, is her fourth novel.
“Cloudberries,” Ladybug Magazine (2001)
Lucy the Giant (2002)
Various stories, Bart Simpson Comics (2002)
Hot Sour, Salty, Sweet (2008)
Flygirl (January 2009)
Top Customer Reviews
Donating bacon grease and nylon stockings is not enough. Ida Mae cannot just sit at home when she knows that so many are dying overseas. When she sees an article in the newspaper announcing a new army initiative - WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) - she knows that she has found her calling. Like the Russians, Uncle Sam is finally letting women do more.
Flying has always been a passion for Ida Mae, since the first time her daddy took her up in his "Jenny," a Curtiss JN-4. She might not have a license, due to a sexist flight instructor, but Ida Mae is an experienced pilot. In fact, she feels more at home in the sky than on the ground. Her father flew to dust crops, and now Ida Mae wants to fly in the army.
There is just one problem. WASP is a program for white women, and Ida Mae is colored.
With her light skin and brown hair, she just might be able to pass for a white woman. To pursue her dream of becoming a WASP, Ida Mae must deny her identity and face unimaginable dangers. Graduating from the rigorous training in Sweetwater, Texas, to become a full-fledged WASP will be no easy task.
Can one colored girl prove to herself and the world that the sky really is the limit?
Sherri L. Smith smoothly incorporates extensive historical research to paint a bold and extraordinary portrait of the courageous women of the WASP. Like her idols, Jackie Cochran and Nancy Love, Ida Mae is a plucky, adventurous heroine, defying race and gender barriers to surpass even her own expectations. Smith is honest in portraying the often rough and unfair treatment that women of WASP endured, the unappreciated sacrifices that these women made all in the name of a country that did not see them as equals to men.
Ida Mae herself says it best - "We don't get any medals for the things we do. We don't get a parade when we go home." Even without the fanfare and celebrations that they deserved, the WASP played an essential role in winning World War II.
And for Ida Mae? "It's all the reward we need."
Reviewed by: Amber Gibson
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
On top of getting a firm feel for life at Avenger Field during world war 2 and the flight training and procedures, readers also get a look at what it is like to be black in the 1940s. Ida is always having to worry about her hair curling too much or somebody figuring out her secret because back then, her secret could get her killed. On top of the racial tension is the fact that she is a woman to boot. I doubt anybody had it harder back then. Women in general had it rough, but being a black woman... most of us would not have had Ida's courage.
Also in the story is how Ida deals with conflicting emotions regarding her family in New Orleans (she feels she is denying her own heritage and family, especially when her mom comes to visit and has to act like her maid) and her family in Sweetwater. How would her newfound white friends act if they knew the truth? My only complaint about this novel is we never found that out.
There is also a situation with the loss of a friend. Ida has to deal with her grief as she watches a friend die and her conflicting emotions about the situation as she realizes it could happen to her.
I absolutely loved the courageous flight Ida takes with Lily in a B-29. Great way to end this novel. Readers see how the WASP was literally used and discarded. I feel for all the women that were involved. Yet, this does not stop Ida Mae. Despite the fact that the Army betrays her and her female comrades in the end, Ida Mae still wants to fly, not as a white woman, nor a black woman, but as Ida Mae.
Ms. Smith, I would like to see a sequel to this book. I would like to see Ida Mae go work for Walt and come clean about her heritage. I'd like to see her overcome the 1950s and keep on flying despite all odds. We need more books with strong female heroines, white, black, latina.... Thumbs up, Ms. Smith.
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