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Flygirlby Sherri L Smith
Synopses & Reviews
A powerful story of friendship and sacrifice, for fans of Code Name Verity
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if youre a girl, and harder still if youre Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.
This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, its a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.
"Smith (Lucy the Giant) brings a gripping perspective to bear upon a lesser-known piece of America's past: during WWII, the government recruited women pilots to fly non-combat missions, e.g., ferrying planes. Driven by a desire to fly and wanting to help her enlisted brother, Ida Mae decides to pass as white so she can join the program. The author has an expert grasp on her subject, and readers will learn plenty about the Women Airforce Service Pilots, from their impractical uniforms to the dangerous missions they flew without reward. Ida Mae's unique point of view gives her special insight into the often poor treatment of women: when a pilot friend gets frustrated by a stunt they are asked to perform, Ida realizes, 'Lily's just finding out what I've been living with my whole life. She's never known what it was like to be hobbled by somebody else's rules.' Key scenes demonstrate how much Ida has sacrificed by passing, as when her much darker mother visits her on Christmas and, la Imitation of Life, poses as the family housekeeper. Although this book feels constructed to educate, readers will find the lesson well crafted. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Like Brother, Ida Mae Jones must define courage for herself. When her older brother enlists during World War II, Ida Mae yearns to do more than just hoard sugar, clean houses and work on her family's strawberry farm. Her father, a crop duster with his own plane, had taught her to fly before he died, and she decides to join the newly formed WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). But with the country... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) and the military so segregated, Ida Mae must take a big risk and pass for white — a path her light-skinned father had rejected in the New Orleans of his youth. Careful research informs this story of a young woman struggling against racism and sexism to follow her dreams. Author Sherri Smith takes us into the cockpit of a PT-19A trainer, past the "Whites Only" signs in stores and on target-towing duty in the sky. Even as she meets new challenges and makes new friends, Ida Mae hopes one day to merge her WASP and "colored girl" identities. A dynamic, heartfelt novel. Mary Quattlebaum is a children's author who contributes frequently to The Washington Post Book World. Reviewed by Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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When America enters World War II, the Army creates the Women's Air Force Service Pilots. Ida Mae Jones, a young African-American woman, suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something to help her brother stationed in the Pacific.
All Ida Mae Jones wants to do is fly. Her daddy was a pilot, and years after his death she feels closest to him when sheÕs in the air. But as a young black woman in 1940s Louisiana, she knows the sky is off limits to her, until America enters World War II, and the Army forms the WASPÑWomen Airforce Service Pilots. Ida has a chance to fulfill her dream if sheÕs willing to use her light skin to pass as a white girl. She wants to fly more than anything, but Ida soon learns that denying oneÕs self and family is a heavy burden, and ultimately itÕs not what you do but who you are thatÕs most important.
Read Sherri L. Smith's posts on the Penguin Blog
Read Sherri L. Smith's posts on the Penguin Blog
Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her.
When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots—and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.
About the Author
Sherri L. Smith is the author of Lucy the Giant, Sparrow, and Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet. She lives in Sherman Oaks, California.
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