Karl Friedrich’s first novel is about the women who participated in the World War II WASP (Women Air Service Pilots) program. A colorful cast of secondary characters, including a villain determined to ground our heroine, helps bring the story alive.
Here’s a post from the author explaining the origin of his interest in the topic. He worked to entertain both those with an interest in airplanes and readers who simply love a good story.
An excellent novel for teens looking to supplement their study of World War II.
Adult/High School–Armed only with her grit, tenacity, and a talent for flying, Sally Ketchum takes the U.S. Army up on its offer to join in with other young women fliers to train on military aircraft as part of the new–and experimental–WASP program. Desperate to escape her brutal, alcoholic father, and after the loss of her mentor, flight instructor, and lover, she is determined to carve out a new life for herself as a pilot. While in training, she meets the incompetent flight instructor Beau Bayard, who irritates and angers her, but who nevertheless forces her to open her heart and create a future for herself. But as the new “flygirls” train, there are those who would see these young women fail, and one of them, a highly placed Washington lawyer, targets Sally in particular, determined to see her crash, figuratively if not literally. Despite the hardships of training, the determination of those who would have the girls grounded, and the despair of lost love, Sally perseveres to find the life she wants to have–the life she knows that she deserves. This compelling novel will appeal to teens who like a good love story with a historical context. The United States of the 1940s is well represented, and the history of the “flygirls” is a subject that many students today know little about. The lack of choices available to women of the day is clearly shown in this charming story, and it invites more investigation on the subject.–Connie Williams, Petaluma High School, CA