Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII
Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII
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Annotation: Looks at the brave women who helped the war effort during World War II by working as civilian pilots.
Genre: World history
Catalog Number: #154587
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 198 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-534-40410-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-534-40410-6
Dewey: 940.54
LCCN: 2017011062
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Subject Heading:
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Pearson zooms in on the leaders, pioneers, and supporters of the Women Air Force Service Pilots, or WASPs—a group of over 1,000 young women who contributed to the war effort by ferrying bombers, pursuit planes, and trainer planes where they needed to go, freeing up male pilots to head across the Atlantic. Jacqueline Cochran and Nancy Love, both white women, led recruitment efforts, searching for and training the best flygirls despite opposition. Many of the young women were able to financially back themselves, as the military wouldn't pay for clothing, food, or housing; the precise number of poorer pilots is not shared. There is scant mention of ethnically diverse women, though the text highlights Cochran's resistance to accepting black women. Depending on where the women were stationed, they endured sabotage, sexism, and harassment from their male counterparts. During the program and after it was deactivated, the WASPs continued challenging laws that would not accept them as veterans, thus slighting the pilots' veterans' recognition, benefits, and burial honors—38 died in service. Pearson offers the stark statistics in the book's epilogue: the WASPs had flown 60 million miles in 78 different types of aircraft and then waited 74 years for full recognition. Black-and-white photographs and archival images are interspersed throughout, and information from journal entries, letters, memoirs, oral interviews, and more rounds out an adventurous and tumultuous account.A solid account of women's contributions as aviators during World War II. (bibliography, notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)
Publishers Weekly
Pearson-s accessible and immediate portrait of the women aviators whose organization became known as the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) highlights the courage and tenacity that bound them together during WWII. Quotations from the pilots illuminate their personalities and commitment to their country and careers in the face of gender discrimination, aircraft deemed unfit for flight, and Congress-s refusal to militarize them, denying them benefits that were awarded to other women-s auxiliaries (until some 30 years later). An early lobbyist for allowing women to fly noncombat missions on American military bases, pilot Jacqueline Cochran eventually became the lead pilot in command of an all-male crew, despite the fact that -red tape and sexist insinuations stood mountainously in my way.- In one especially intense passage, future WASP Cornelia Fort recounts being forced to alter her plane-s course to avoid the Japanese bomber headed to Pearl Harbor: -My heart turned over convulsively when the bomb exploded in the middle of the Harbor.- Archival photos and sidebars supplement this often thrilling tribute to these aviation heroes. Ages 10-up. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
Gr 68 From 1941 until 1944, more than 1,000 women, many of them already highly experienced aviators, took to the air as part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Though quite small in number compared to other airborne units, the WASPs undertook many vital yet dangerous missions with the utmost skill and often very little recognition. From ferrying newly manufactured aircraft to awaiting military bases, assisting in target and searchlight trainings, towing supply gliders behind enemy lines, and acting as flight instructors and air taxis, these remarkable women risked their lives as civilians time and again in service of their country. But despite their bravery and perseverance in the face of danger, harassment, sexism, and discrimination, they would be denied military status, honors, and benefits for another 35 years. Pearson excels at clarifying this complicated war for young readers in a style that is riveting, informative, and never watered down. While bridging world events to American life in the 1940s, she tells the WASPs' story with dignity, offering a touching, moving tribute to their extremely risky, behind-the-scenes tasks that proved vital to the war effort and an Allied victory. The author also provides a fascinating look at what sadly remained a forgotten history for far too long, creating an inspirational example for young readers to follow their paths despite the obstacles. VERDICT A fine purchase that provides a more balanced and empowered perspective of U.S. history. Rebecca Gueorguiev, New York Public Library
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The brave female pilots of WWII get some long-overdue attention in Pearson's highly readable history of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) program. Despite the looming threat of war in 1939, American women weren't permitted to serve their country as pilots, largely due to misconceptions that they were too delicate emotionally and physically. That didn't stop these aviators though, especially Jackie Cochran and Nancy Love, who found ways around this barrier. Cochran joined the war effort in Britain, ferrying fighter planes to different bases, while Love got the army's go-ahead to form the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) in the U.S. Shortly after, Cochran returned to lead the Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD), and it was through the combination of these organizations that WASP was formed. Astonishing details reveal themselves as readers learn about the obstacles these women faced, namely, double standards, harassment, and a lack of support. As a civilian outfit, they were not entitled to military benefits, yet they were subjected to its rules. They outflew many of their male counterparts and took up dangerous jobs as test and tow pilots, all to free men to fly in combat, since they could not. It's a truly inspiring read, and Pearson adeptly addresses the support and censure these fearless and dignified ladies received, and their shamefully drawn-out fight for recognition.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Word Count: 39,979
Reading Level: 7.6
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.6 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 194793 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 1080L
Fly Girls

A night view of the 1939 New York World's Fair--"World of Tomorrow."

Excerpted from FLY GIRLS: THE DARING AMERICAN WOMEN PILOTS WHO HELPED WIN WWII
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

In the tradition of Hidden Figures, debut author Patricia Pearson offers a beautifully written account of the remarkable but often forgotten group of female fighter pilots who answered their country’s call in its time of need during World War II.

At the height of World War II, the US Army Airforce faced a desperate need for skilled pilots—but only men were allowed in military airplanes, even if the expert pilots who were training them to fly were women. Through grit and pure determination, 1,100 of these female pilots—who had to prove their worth time and time again—were finally allowed to ferry planes from factories to bases, to tow targets for live ammunition artillery training, to test repaired planes and new equipment, and more.

Though the WASPs lived on military bases, trained as military pilots, wore uniforms, marched in review, and sometimes died violently in the line of duty, they were civilian employees and received less pay than men doing the same jobs and no military benefits, not even for burials.

Their story is one of patriotism, the power of positive attitudes, the love of flying, and the willingness to do good with no concern for personal gain.


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