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Flygirl Paperback – September 16, 2010
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-A dynamic, heartfelt novel.+ -The Washington Post
-A thrilling, but little-known story that begs to be told. The book is at once informative and entertaining.+ -School Library Journal
About the Author
Sherri L. Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois and spent most of her childhood reading books. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she has worked in movies, animation, comic books and construction. Sherri’s first book, Lucy the Giant, was an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults in 2003. The Dutch translation, Lucy XXL (Gottmer, 2005), was awarded an Honorable Mention at the 2005 De Gouden Zoen, or Golden Kiss, Awards for Children’s Literature in the Netherlands. Sherri’s novel, Sparrow, was chosen as a National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and is also a 2009 Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award Nominee. Upon the release of Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet in February 2008, Sherri was featured as a spotlight author for The Brown Bookshelf's Black History Month celebration, 28 Days Later. Flygirl, an historical YA novel set during World War II, is her fourth novel.
“Cloudberries,” Ladybug Magazine (2001)
Lucy the Giant (2002)
Various stories, Bart Simpson Comics (2002)
Hot Sour, Salty, Sweet (2008)
Flygirl (January 2009)
Top customer reviews
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On top of getting a firm feel for life at Avenger Field during world war 2 and the flight training and procedures, readers also get a look at what it is like to be black in the 1940s. Ida is always having to worry about her hair curling too much or somebody figuring out her secret because back then, her secret could get her killed. On top of the racial tension is the fact that she is a woman to boot. I doubt anybody had it harder back then. Women in general had it rough, but being a black woman... most of us would not have had Ida's courage.
Also in the story is how Ida deals with conflicting emotions regarding her family in New Orleans (she feels she is denying her own heritage and family, especially when her mom comes to visit and has to act like her maid) and her family in Sweetwater. How would her newfound white friends act if they knew the truth? My only complaint about this novel is we never found that out.
There is also a situation with the loss of a friend. Ida has to deal with her grief as she watches a friend die and her conflicting emotions about the situation as she realizes it could happen to her.
I absolutely loved the courageous flight Ida takes with Lily in a B-29. Great way to end this novel. Readers see how the WASP was literally used and discarded. I feel for all the women that were involved. Yet, this does not stop Ida Mae. Despite the fact that the Army betrays her and her female comrades in the end, Ida Mae still wants to fly, not as a white woman, nor a black woman, but as Ida Mae.
Ms. Smith, I would like to see a sequel to this book. I would like to see Ida Mae go work for Walt and come clean about her heritage. I'd like to see her overcome the 1950s and keep on flying despite all odds. We need more books with strong female heroines, white, black, latina.... Thumbs up, Ms. Smith.
Really, my only complaint would be that it ended so soon - the writing pulled me along, and I had no idea it was finishing up so quickly!