At a recent book bloggers’ conference, I was delighted to learn of the existence of another blog with a focus on World War II: The Children’s War, an online journal about books for children and teenagers set in World War II. A recently reviewed title will be of particular interest to the readers awaiting So Much So Many So Few’s upcoming interview with Jennifer Niven, author of Becoming Clementine, due out in September.
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
More than anything else in the world, Ida Mae Jones, 18, wants to fly, but she can’t. Not because she doesn’t know how, oh no, Ida Mae knows how to fly. Her father had taught her how to fly his crop dusting plande long ago. She can’t fly because she doesn’t have a license and even though she did everything correctly during her flying test, the instructor refused to pass her on principle – she was a woman. But then the US enters World War II and for Ida Mae there will be no more flying even without a license with gas rationing.
But a new flying possibility opens up in 1943, when her younger brother Abel brings home an ad for female pilots in the new WASP (Women’s Airforce Service Pilots) program headed up by Jackie Cochran. Ida Mae gets very excited until she realizes two obstacles to joining the WASP program – she still doesn’t have a license and she is black and the program was only open to white women.
Ida Mae was pretty determined, though. For one thing, she was so fair that she could pass for white, though she had always chosen not to because it meant cutting herself off from friends and family completely. As for her license, well, Ida Mae was lucky enough to be named after her father, Iden Mahé, so it was a simple matter of changing the name on his license and replacing his photo with one of her own.
To read the rest, go to The Children’s War.