Female Pilots in World War II

Today I have a really cool book about female pilots in World War II.  First off, the illustrations are stunning and will transport the reader to the 1940s.  What makes this book even better is the story of how far women had to go to be trained as pilots. These women, trying to fly for the military, remind all of us that the struggle for equality should never be taken for granted.  It is not so far in our past that women were considered inferior and less capable.

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Title: Skywardfemale pilots in World War II skyward

Author: Sally Deng

Target: Grades 2-5

What this book is about:

This book follows the lives of three women as they pursue their desire to fly airplanes.  Hazel, an Asian American, joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots, a civilian group that ferried planes across the country to different air bases.  Marlene, from Great Britain,  joined the Air Transport Auxiliary where she also ferried planes and personnel.  Lilya, a Russia woman, was assigned to an all-female regiment who flew combat missions against the Germans.  They worked hard, pushed themselves and performed bravely despite those who didn’t accept the idea of female pilots.  They paved the way for future females in aviation.

Why I love this book:

  • The illustrations just stopped me in my tracks.  The publisher Flying Eye Books out the UK has a very distinctive look to their books which is always eye-catching.  These pictures will take readers to another time.
  • I loved how the stories are intertwined.  We learn about these women growing up, pursuing their dreams and translating that into service to their countries, despite the fact that their countries didn’t always value them.  The book is considered creative nonfiction, as the stories are based on real women, but portions of the story are somewhat fictionalized to move the narrative along.

Who this book is for:

This book is great for kids who are exploring nonfiction texts.  This is a picture book, but the writing is too advanced for the younger set so I would give this to kids in grade school.

Final thoughts:

A needed reminder that women haven’t had the rights we enjoy for that long. We need to be vigilant in continuing to expand the roles for men and women into areas that continue to be segregated by gender.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Skyward.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.