Rummanah Aasi
    There are so many books that focus on what is happening to the men during wars. Sure, I’ve read small paragraphs in my history textbooks that tell about how the women got into the workforce in order to help the soldiers and military overseas. Most of those careers that women held have been telephone operators and nurses, but I’ve never read a book that solely focused on the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) until I found Sherri Smith’s original and inspiring book called Flygirl.

Description: Ida Mae dreams to become a pilot. Unfortunately, due to her race and gender, her dreams seems far out of reach. When her brother is enlisted to the army during World War II, Ida learns about Woman Airforce Service Pilots program wants to do is fly. Driven by her desire to fly and wanting to help her brother, Ida Mae decides to ‘pass’ as a white person so she can join the program. Despite the odds set against her, will Ida Mae fulfill her dreams?

Review: Flygirl is a rich, multilayered story about a less discussed piece of US military history during World War II. The book is simultaneously entertaining and informative. The main antagonist in the novel is not the foreign enemy, but the local enemy, i.e. prejudice- in terms of race and gender. Throughout her education in the WASP program, Ida Mae repeatedly asks herself whether or not she is telling a lie is not a black and white answer. She is, essentially, questioning how we identify ourselves. Are we not something deeper than the color of our skins or our sex?

Before this book, I knew nothing about navigating an airplane. I was excited to learn about flying and living vicariously through Ida Mae and her friends. I couldn’t help but cheer for them and I know that you will too after you read this book.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of caution: The ‘n’ word is used approximately 4 times in the novel.

Curriculum Connection: Social Studies, Gender Studies

If you like this book, try: Yankee Doodle Girls by Amy Nathan or On Silver Wings by Marianne Verges
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