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Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

Cover to Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith’s Flygirl is an extremely moving historical novel about friendship, freedom, love, and loyalty.

Ida Mae Jones dreamed of doing something to help U.S. troops defeat the Nazis in World War II. She was young, smart, and knew how to fly an airplane. But that wasn’t enough, not even when they started accepting women to fly non-combat missions. Because Ida Mae was black, and only white women were allowed to join the flying service. So there was no way she could help win the war and bring her brother home all the sooner. Unless she broke the rules.

The young woman from Louisiana took a very big chance and did not tell the recruiter she was black. Like her father, she was light enough to “pass” as white, so she applied, knowing all the while that if she were caught, she could be in serious trouble. But crossing the color line came with a whole lot of baggage. Her best friend, happy for her at first that her dream of being a real pilot could come true, felt left behind in more ways than one. The rest of her family were none too pleased, either. But Ida Mae was determined to fly . . . and to fight.

Arriving at Sweetwater Army Air Field in Texas, Ida Mae had misgivings from the start. But big as they were, they were outshone by her tremendous desire to soar.

Flygirl is an excellent read—very hard to put down. If you enjoy it, you may also want to try Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation into Space.