Synopses & Reviews
andlt;bandgt;andlt;iandgt;andlt;bigandgt;All he ever wanted to do was fly.andlt;/bigandgt;andlt;/iandgt;andlt;/bandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Three-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Angela Johnson and andlt;iandgt;New York Timesandlt;/iandgt; bestselling illustrator Loren Long invite readers to ponder a band of undercelebrated World War II heroes -- the Tuskegee Airmen. With fleeting prose and transcendent imagery, this book by the masterful author/artist duo reveals how a boy's love of flight takes him on a journey from the dusty dirt roads of Alabama to the war-torn skies of Europe and into the hearts of those who are only now beginning to understand the part these brave souls played in the history of America.
"The team behind I Dream of Trains masterfully presents a story of the Tuskegee Airmen, as light and graceful as the air in which they navigated their planes. A boy recounts his great-great-uncle's experience as one of these unsung heroes. Long's humorous early paintings show the young would-be pilot jumping from a hayloft, conveying his early love of heights and flight. Likening the very idea of flying to Heaven ('with clouds, like soft blankets, saying, 'Come on in, get warm. Stay awhile and be a wind flyer too' '), Uncle makes flying seem so inviting to the boy, that readers will likely wish to be just like Uncle, too. When, as a Tuskegee Airman, Uncle finally puts his own dream into motion and his plane takes off for the first time, readers may well want to stand up and cheer. The occasion is all the more celebratory because of how rare it was for African-Americans to get an opportunity like this, as Johnson's poetic text subtly conveys: 'Air Force didn't want us at first,' Uncle says. (A closing author's note explains the founding and achievements of the airmen trained in Tuskegee, Ala.) Long's illustration of this momentous occasion features brushstrokes so vivid, they practically launch Uncle's plane right off the page. Both author and artist guard a careful balance between nostalgia and the timelessness of childhood aspirations. Together, they turn a quiet moment in history into a story that will send spirits soaring. Ages 5-9." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Listening to the heroic tales of his great-great-uncle, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, a young man learns all about this historic groups' adventures in training and as professional pilots, in a poetically written, inspirational tale from a Coretta Scott King Award-winning author.
Three-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Johnson presents this bittersweet story about a young boy inspired by his great-great uncle, who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, an elite squadron of black pilots during World War II.
About the Author
Angela Johnson has won three Coretta Scott King Awards, one each for her novels andlt;iandgt;The First Part Lastandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Heavenandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Toning the Sweepandlt;/iandgt;. andlt;iandgt;The First Part Lastandlt;/iandgt; was also the recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award. She is also the author of the novels andlt;iandgt;Looking for Redandlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;A Certain Octoberandlt;/iandgt;. Her books for younger readers include the Coretta Scott King Honor Book andlt;iandgt;When I Am Old with Youandlt;/iandgt;, illustrated by David Soman; andlt;iandgt;Wind Flyersandlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;I Dream of Trainsandlt;/iandgt;, both illustrated by Loren Long; and andlt;iandgt;Lottie Paris Lives Here andlt;/iandgt;and its sequel andlt;iandgt;Lottie Paris and the Best Placeandlt;/iandgt;, both illustrated by Scott M. Fischer. Additional picture books includeandnbsp;andlt;iandgt;A Sweet Smell of Rosesandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Just Like Josh Gibsonandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The Day Ray Got Awayandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;All Different Nowandlt;/iandgt;. In recognition of her outstanding talent, Angela was named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Kent, Ohio. Visit her at AJohnsonAuthor.com.Loren Long illustrated President Barack Obamaand#8217;s andlt;iandgt;Of Thee I Singandlt;/iandgt;; the newest version of andlt;iandgt;The Little Engine that Couldandlt;/iandgt;; Madonnaand#8217;s second picture book, andlt;iandgt;Mr. Peabodyand#8217;s Applesandlt;/iandgt;; andlt;Iandgt;Nightsongandlt;/Iandgt; by Ari Berk; andandlt;iandgt; andlt;/iandgt;the Barnstormers series. He also illustrated Frank McCourtand#8217;s andlt;iandgt;Angela and the Baby Jesusandlt;/iandgt; and is part of the Design Garage for Jon Scieszkaand#8217;s Trucktown series. Lorenand#8217;s work has appeared in andlt;iandgt;Timeandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Sports Illustratedandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Forbesandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The Wall Street Journal,andlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;The Atlanticandlt;/iandgt;. He lives with his wife and two sons in Westchester, Ohio. Visit him at LorenLong.com.