3.94 (5,424 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


For fans of Unbroken and Ruta Sepetys. All Ida Mae Jones wants to do is fly. Her daddy was a pilot, and years after his death she feels closest to him when she's in the air. But as a young black woman in 1940s Louisiana, she knows the sky is off limits to her, until America enters World War II, and the Army forms the WASP-Women Airforce Service Pilots. Ida has a chance to fulfill her dream if she's willing to use her light skin to pass as a white girl. She wants to fly more than anything, but Ida soon learns that denying one's self and family is a heavy burden, and ultimately it's not what you do but who you are that's most important. Read Sherri L. Smith's posts on the Penguin Blog
show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 137.16 x 203.2 x 22.86mm | 204.12g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0142417254
  • 9780142417256
  • 155,521

Review quote

"A thrilling, but little-known story that begs to be told. The book is at once informative and entertaining." - "School Library Journal"
show more

About Sherri L Smith

Sherri L. Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois and spent most of her childhood reading books. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she has worked in movies, animation, comic books and construction. Sherri's first book, Lucy the Giant, was an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults in 2003. The Dutch translation, Lucy XXL (Gottmer, 2005), was awarded an Honorable Mention at the 2005 De Gouden Zoen, or Golden Kiss, Awards for Children's Literature in the Netherlands. Sherri's novel, Sparrow, was chosen as a National Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and is also a 2009 Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award Nominee. Upon the release of Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet in February 2008, Sherri was featured as a spotlight author for The Brown Bookshelf's Black History Month celebration, 28 Days Later. Flygirl, an historical YA novel set during World War II, is her fourth novel.

"Cloudberries," Ladybug Magazine (2001)

Lucy the Giant (2002)

Various stories, Bart Simpson Comics (2002)

Sparrow (2006)

Hot Sour, Salty, Sweet (2008)

Flygirl (January 2009)
show more

Rating details

5,424 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 30% (1,649)
4 41% (2,219)
3 23% (1,233)
2 4% (234)
1 2% (89)

Our customer reviews

World War II is raging across the globe and Ida Mae Jones is doing everything she can on the homefront to support the war effort. With her brother, Thomas, off fighting in the Pacific, Ida Mae wants nothing more than to see the boys come home safely. Donating bacon grease and nylon stockings is not enough. Ida Mae cannot just sit at home when she knows that so many are dying overseas. When she sees an article in the newspaper announcing a new army initiative - WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) - she knows that she has found her calling. Like the Russians, Uncle Sam is finally letting women do more. Flying has always been a passion for Ida Mae, since the first time her daddy took her up in his "Jenny," a Curtiss JN-4. She might not have a license, due to a sexist flight instructor, but Ida Mae is an experienced pilot. In fact, she feels more at home in the sky than on the ground. Her father flew to dust crops, and now Ida Mae wants to fly in the army. There is just one problem. WASP is a program for white women, and Ida Mae is colored. With her light skin and brown hair, she just might be able to pass for a white woman. To pursue her dream of becoming a WASP, Ida Mae must deny her identity and face unimaginable dangers. Graduating from the rigorous training in Sweetwater, Texas, to become a full-fledged WASP will be no easy task. Can one colored girl prove to herself and the world that the sky really is the limit? Sherri L. Smith smoothly incorporates extensive historical research to paint a bold and extraordinary portrait of the courageous women of the WASP. Like her idols, Jackie Cochran and Nancy Love, Ida Mae is a plucky, adventurous heroine, defying race and gender barriers to surpass even her own expectations. Smith is honest in portraying the often rough and unfair treatment that women of WASP endured, the unappreciated sacrifices that these women made all in the name of a country that did not see them as equals to men. Ida Mae herself says it best - "We don't get any medals for the things we do. We don't get a parade when we go home." Even without the fanfare and celebrations that they deserved, the WASP played an essential role in winning World War II. And for Ida Mae? "It's all the reward we need." *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X