Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

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All Ida Mae Jones wants to do is fly. Her daddy was a pilot, and years after his death she feels closest to him when sheÕs in the air. But as a young black woman in 1940s Louisiana, she knows the sky is off limits to her, until America enters World War II, and the Army forms the WASPÑWomen Airforce Service Pilots. Ida has a chance to fulfill her dream if sheÕs willing to use her light skin to pass as a white girl. She wants to fly more than anything, but Ida soon learns that denying oneÕs self and family is a heavy burden, and ultimately itÕs not what you do but who you are thatÕs most important.

Read Sherri L. Smith's posts on the Penguin Blog

About Sherri L. Smith

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Sherri L. Smith's (www.sherrilsmith. com) Flygirl won the California Book Award, was a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, and is on 14 State Award Lists. Sherri lives in Sherman Oaks, California.
Published January 21, 2009 by Speak. 306 pages
Genres: Young Adult, War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Flygirl

Kirkus Reviews

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During World War II, a semi-military unit of women pilots, the WASPs, fought for their chance to serve their country.

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Publishers Weekly

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Smith (Lucy the Giant ) brings a gripping perspective to bear upon a lesser-known piece of America's past: during WWII, the government recruited women pilots to fly non-combat missions, e.g., ferrying planes.

Dec 08 2008 | Read Full Review of Flygirl

BC Books

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Although the book raises those kinds of important questions, it never answers them, neither for Ida Mae personally, nor in any broader sense.

Feb 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Flygirl

BC Books

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Ida Mae sees her chance to help her country and do what she loves, but it will not only require her to survive as a woman in a man's army, it will require her to pretend to be something she's not: white.

Feb 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Flygirl

The Bookbag

Smith gives them their own stories and, where other authors would just make them stereotypical white women to compare Ida Mae to, Smith breathes life and humour into them.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Flygirl

Teen Reads

Through her interactions with the other women and her teachers, Ida Mae realizes she has more to learn than merely the techniques of flying a plane.

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Flygirl


This book keeps you on edge and has surprises around every corner to catch you unprepared, although I wish the author had tied up the loose ends at the end of the book to leave you with a better sense of closure.

Nov 25 2008 | Read Full Review of Flygirl

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