Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her.
When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots – and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.
I read this book because my teacher recommended it to me, not because I found it on my own time. It’s certainly not my favorite war book, it’s certainly not my favorite book about different cultures and races, it’s most definitely not my favorite in contemporary or adventure either. And yet this book has a certain comfortable and amazing air to it that I really liked. Ida Mae Jones felt real, true and dealing with real problems that a lot of kids who are different races go through. That lingering doubt.
I can see how this book wouldn’t grab the attention of some people, but it was pretty well-paced for me. A great book to read right before going to bed. I spent the last couple nights reading a thriller right before bed and I was kind of freaked out to the point where I would see a person with a bullet through their head every time I so much as closed my eyes. Not really that fun to deal with…
I liked the plot line of this book a lot, even though I thought that sometimes Sherri L. Smith could’ve placed an event in a better position. Nevertheless, I loved this book and it’s ending. I really liked how Sherri L. Smith did the satisfactory ending, and it was a great book overall. Four stars. Recommended it for girls 11-14.
pg count for hardcover: 256