Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Living in Louisiana during the 1940s, Ida Mae knows how difficult life can be for African Americans, even if they are light skin as she is. All she wants to do is fly, but her gender and her race both are against her. Then, WWII hits home when her older brother enlists. Itching to do her part for her country, and to be in the skies once again, Ida Mae takes a chance to pass and becomes part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Here she forges deep friendships and masters her life’s passion. She also struggles with who she is pretending to be and who she really is.
What a wonderfully written tale! The author does note that, to her knowledge and research, there were not any African American women in the WASP (passing as white or otherwise); however, the story she tells of the WASP struggle to be officially recognized as part of the US Armed Forces, and the amazing duties they performed is completely true. Ida Mae’s internal struggle has a ring of truth about it, just as the deep friendships she forms while a WASP.