- Age Range: 9 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 4 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 0910 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 96 pages
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (May 3, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1481449389
- ISBN-13: 978-1481449380
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—This distinctive collection of verses lets readers journey with the African American men who dreamed of flying despite racist attitudes. Through 33 poems, readers will travel beside these determined men as they become pilots and fight not only the Nazis, but prejudice as well. For those who have never studied this time period, this book sheds light on the Tuskegee Airmen through stories filled with authentic voices and hard truths. For those who already know of the Airmen's accomplishments, the book offers a more personal connection to the men and their ideas and feelings through poems such as "Operation Prove Them Wrong" and "No Hero's Welcome," which demonstrate that despite their proven skill and heroism, the aviators were still denied acceptance and respect. Scratchboard illustrations by the author's son bring the subject to life. VERDICT A unique and very readable addition to supplement black history and World War II collections.—Laura Fields Eason, Parker Bennett Curry Elementary School, Bowling Green, KY
“This book sheds light on the Tuskegee Airmen through stories filled with authentic voices and hard truths. For those who already know of the Airmen’s accomplishments, the book offers a more personal connection to the men and their ideas and feelings through poems . . . which demonstrate that despite their proven skill and heroism, the aviators were still denied acceptance and respect.” (School Library Journal)
* “Weatherford’s skill with language provides clear voices for the trainees, and cultural specifics provide additional texture and deepen understanding of the young men. A masterful, inspiring evocation of an era.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
* “Weatherford . . . wields the power of poetry to tell a gripping historical story, reinforced by dramatically shaded scratchboard illustrations by her son, making a notable debut.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“The narrative voice draws readers into the action, addressing them directly and inviting them to imagine themselves into this ground-breaking role . . . this title is particularly well adapted to classroom use, where language arts and history students can share common air space.” (BCCB)
“Weatherford’s informative, evocative poems follow the Airmen from the early vision . . . to the flyers’ experiences at home and abroad, with poems about Joe Louis and Lena Horne reminding us that the Airmen were also fighting another war in this country—against prejudice.” (Horn Book)
"This volume offers a vivid, personal point of view. A welcome addition to traditional books on the Tuskegee Airmen." (Booklist April 1, 2015)
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1500 combat missions
Knocked out one enemy destroyer, 262 German planes, and 950 vehicles.
Out of 205 missions, 200 were flown without losing a bomber
Lee Archer Jr. was an ace, having shot down four enemy planes
Over 900 medals won including Distinguished Crosses, Bronze Stars, and Purple Hearts
In addition to fighting in the air, on the ground these brave soldiers had to deal with a different enemy: racism. The poem Anxious details this by describing how ropes separated black and white soldiers traveling across the Atlantic on their way to battle. In The Other War, soldiers know not to stray far from base as they would encounter bigotry in many forms including lynching.
Through the use of poetry, Carole Boston Weatherford brings the fight of the airmen on both fronts right to the reader. Anger, heartbreak, and pride are some of the emotions that will come forth as you read about what these men and women went through to serve their country. Equally powerful are the scratchboard illustrations by Jeffery Boston Weatherford. On page 65 is a poster featuring a black and white worker together with the title United We Win. Many compelling conversations will arise after viewing this poster.
Upper elementary, middle, and high school teachers should use You Can Fly as a mentor text in their poetry and World War II units. Poetry is a powerful tool of expression and has great potential as a way to personalize history. You Can Fly allows an important piece of history to soar again.