Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her. When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots - and Ida suddenly sees a way to fl y as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be. (Description from GoodReads)
This book was a little slow, but ultimately, this is a great historical fiction novel. I asked a kid I was talking to about this book a week ago whether he thought this was more a book about race, or a book about gender. He said race, but honestly, I feel like this book was far more about gender than it was race. Ida Mae passed so well, and was never caught (which sort of bothered me… the book ended very quickly) that the book focused on gender for me. It’s not a book that I fell off my seat reading with excitement, but I did take it home from work to finish it off the clock, which is pretty rare.