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Sherri L. Smith
Teen Fiction SMITH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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. Driven by a desire to fly and wanting to help her enlisted brother, Ida Mae decides to pass as white so she can join the program. The author has an expert grasp on her subject, and readers will learn plenty about the Women Airforce Service Pilots, from their impractical uniforms to the dangerous missions they flew without reward. Ida Mae's unique point of view gives her special insight into the often poor treatment of women: when a pilot friend gets frustrated by a stunt they are asked to perform, Ida realizes, "Lily's just finding out what I've been living with my whole life. She's never known what it was like to be hobbled by somebody else's rules." Key scenes demonstrate how much Ida has sacrificed by passing, as when her much darker mother visits her on Christmas and, Ø la Imitation of Life, poses as the family housekeeper. Although this book feels constructed to educate, readers will find the lesson well crafted. Ages 12-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Ida Mae Jones dreams of flying, an almost impossible aspiration for a black woman in 1940s America. With the coming of World War II she passes for white to join the WASPs-the Women's Airforce Service Pilots-and serves her country ferrying planes across the country. Why It Is for Us: This fictional story celebrates the esprit de corps of the young women who joined the WASPs, whose heroism was not acknowledged until the 1970s. Ida Mae and her friends are modeled after real-life WASPs yet come alive with their own indomitable spirit. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Ida Mae Jones
African American
Dreams of being a pilot like her father; finds an opportunity to fly when the war allows women to fly; pretends to be white to get to fly in the war.

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