What a lovely little read this is. It ticks all my boxes: spunky female protagonist, a series of challenging episodes, lovely writing and some real issues for later discussion.
Ida May Jones is a twenty year old young woman who is desperate to take to the skies again. Her departed father taught her how to fly and she has experience crop dusting. But as a black maid she has to work hard to make this dream a reality. Ida May dreams of going to Chicago’s Coffey School of Aeronautics to obtain her license. Also, when her brother enlists and is sent to the Pacific, Ida Mae promises to stay and look after her family and the strawberry farm.
Temptation comes when Ida Mae hears about the WASP, Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, scheme. She wants to do her part for the war effort and as a woman, let alone an African American woman, it is going to take some swift moves and clever thinking. Ida's light skin and 'good hair' certainly helps her "pass" as white, but this also leads to some crises of conscience.
Based on the real WASP, to whom last year President Obama awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, this book teaches history and civil rights without ever feeling like a lesson. “. . .If you’re colored, you get the short end of the stick. If you’re a woman, you get the short end of the stick. So what do we get for being colored and women?”
The characters are warm and well drawn, and the narrative is pacy. You'll be itching to get airborne too!
Until next time happy tales,
And so it goes...
3 years ago