Ida Mae grew up flying planes with her father, and after he died, she took over his crop dusting. Although she has the skill, the white man in charge refused to issue a pilot's license to her. When the war comes and her older brother goes off to fight, Ida Mae can't stand to clean houses for money and save bacon grease for the war effort - she wants to help in a meaningful way. And with her light skin, she looks white to some people - maybe white enough to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Flying is her dream, but if Ida Mae pretends to be white, what will that mean for her family and friends? What if someone finds out the truth?
This is an entertaining story with a determined protagonist. Ida Mae's struggle of identity is compelling - should her mother have to pretend to be her maid so they can be seen talking together? What kind of world denies qualified pilots on the basis of skin color and gender in the first place? Her journey to train as a pilot is also detailed and interesting, drawn from real events from WWII. Although the end leaves some things unresolved, there is a lot to enjoy about this book.
"It's the strangest showdown I've ever seen, polite on the surface, but like a snakebite underneath."
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