Flygirl is the daring tale of Ida Mae Jones, a black girl with light skin who dreams of flying. When World War II inspires the creation of the WASP force, she takes a chance and joins, all the time pretending that she is a white woman. She learns soon, however, that pretending will force her to choose between her family and her flying.
Things I Liked:
Oh how I loved the characters, especially Ida Mae and her friends in WASP. They were so much fun to read about. The setting is absolutely perfect, with the details from the time period completely enhancing the whole feel of the book. I absolutely felt like every part of it seemed like it could be true, Ida's emotions and the things that happen in WASP, and the conflict between white and black. Here were a few of the many things that brought this book to life:
"I never wanted to come down again. First the driveway, then the farm, then all the fields of cotton and alfalfa and all of Slidell dropped away until it looked like the quilt on my bed, big patches of gree and brown, stained with shiny swampland here and there. For the first time in my eleven years, I felt like a giant, like I was tall as the sky." p31
"I wasn't hiding anything when I went into that room and sat face-to-face with an actual woman Army Air Forces pilot. And do you know what she saw? Not a Negro woman, not a white woman, not a high yellow. But a pilot, Mama. A good pilot that they need. Don't you see? This is what Daddy used to fly for. The chance to be everything other than the color of his skin." p55
"Pretending to be white is like holding your stomach in at the lake when the boys walk by. You know they're looking, but you don't want to be seen the way you really are, tummy all soft and babyish, with a too-small chest and behind. So you stand up tall, suck it in, tilt it forward, and try to do the best you can." p65
Things I Didn't Like:
I sure wish it was a true story!
Reminded me of the conflicts in Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone
Also a little like The Help by Katherine Stockett
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
a very few
Overall rating: *****
What's your favorite book that sounds so authentic you thought it might be true?
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