Thursday, September 3, 2009
by Sherri L. Smith
As the cover says, "All Ida Mae Jones wants to do is fly. Her daddy was a pilot, and even years after his death, her connection to him feels strongest when she's in the air. But in 1940s Louisiana, being black and being a woman are two strikes against her, no matter how light-skinned she might be." But then Ida Mae learns of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). And yet, there's no way that they would take someone that's black. Is her skin light enough that she could pass for white? What happens if she's found out after the fact? Even with all the risk, Ida Mae decides she has to try, if only for the fact that she would be "doing something" for the war effort and get to fly as a bonus.
I really enjoyed this book. I learned so much about the air portion of the war and what went on stateside. You hear about the battles overseas and the food rationing in the states, but not so much about this part of it. In my library this book is located in the YA area. I think it would be fine for middle school readers, although the main character is in her early twenties. In order for the story to happen at all, she has to be that old to enlist in the army. But all the same, there are some semi-adult situations, such as the main character's colleagues drinking in the bar. So, recommended for adults, young adults, and middle-schoolers, with a caution on a few scenes containing drinking and minimal romance.