Every fall when I'd stock up for school snacks, I'd make sure to buy a bunch of the Kellogg's products that came with the free books. When the kids were younger, I'd choose ones for them, but the last couple of years, I've grabbed some of the YA titles that caught my eye. This past year, Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith was one of them.
Flygirl takes place during World War 2, when many of the young men are off to war and the Army has realized they will need pilots for test flights, transferring planes, and more. The solution? The WASP, Women's Army Service Pilots. Ida Mae Jones has grown up flying with her father and feels the best way to honor his legacy is to continue flying and join the WASP. However, the option isn't open for black women, no matter their level of skill. Ida Mae has one potential option. For those who have never met her before, she can easily pass as a white woman. Choosing to do so will allow her to follow her dreams of flying, but will cost her her family relationships.
Lately, I've really been enjoying some of the YA books I've picked up and Flygirl is no exception. The story is well told, especially Ida Mae's dilemma between her family and her dreams. At the time, there was no compromise for her, leaving her to make difficult decisions along the way. The historical information on the WASP program is also quite interesting, especially how the women were often used as test pilots for planes the Army wasn't sure about.