FlygirlTitle: Flygirl
Author: Sherri L. Smith
ISBN: 9780399247095
Pages: 275 pages
Publisher/Date: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, c2008.

“I had an interview. To join the Women Airforce Service Pilots. And it looks like I might have a shot.” I smile in spite of myself and drop it just as fast. No one’s saying anything. I swallow hard. (54-55)

Ida Mae Jones has always dreamed of flying, ever since she was eleven years old and her dad brought home a crop dusting plane to their farm. Several years later, with her dad gone now and her brother off to war, Ida Mae wants to do more for the war effort then collect bacon grease and nylons. But she has two things against her; she’s a black women. But then, the Women Airforce Service Pilots is started, looking for female pilots to help shuttle planes and passengers and test fly the newest planes. All Ida Mae has to do is pretend she’s white. Playing a dangerous game in southern Texas, Ida Mae’s difficulties and triumphs are laid out in Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith.

You will root for Ida Mae throughout the whole novel. It’s a masterfully written story, portraying the conflicts that Ida Mae has with trying to determine just what race she should assume. The author’s note was very informative, seperating fact from fiction for intrigued and curious readers. The relationships are complex and well presented, providing emotions for everyone introduced and involved. I’m a little disappointed by the open ending, but other readers will probably be more then disappointed. However, it provides an opportunity for debate as to what readers think she would do. Good recommendation for African American history month.