Check out the growing media buzz and press for Flying Fillies, the wonderful historical fiction book for kids 8 & up.
Recent Press For Flying Fillies
"Flying Fillies is a top recommendation for libraries …" — Midwest Book Review
The engrossing history and psychological pull of the story bring the era and its women to life. More so than most other accounts of World War II for young readers, it connects the dots between personal passion and higher-level thinking and life experiences… Advanced elementary to middle-grade readers receive an enlightening tale of World War II that focuses on the idea, training, and challenges of the WASP and their activities during the war.”
Review Source: Midwest Book Review & Donovan’s Literary Services
"Flying Fillies is inspirational and informative—perfect for fans of historical fiction and horse lovers alike." — Dr. Jen Harrison, The Children's Book Review
Many of the available historical fiction set during World War II focuses on Europe, but Flying Fillies is a story about an American girl in wartime America.
Dawn is thrilled when her family tells her they’ll be leaving the big city of Chicago for the family ranch in Texas. Even though the other kids tease her, her dream is to be a cowgirl under wide-open country skies—and a fighter pilot! However, things are changing all around her: her beloved horse, Midnight Angel, has been put down, and on top of a new school and new bullies to contend with, now there’s Hitler and the outbreak of war to worry about.
Not all the changes are bad, though. As Dawn experiences the (literal) ups and downs of volunteering with the WASPS at the airfield, she’ll also learn much about who she is and who she can be in this strange new world. Dawn is a realistic and relatable character whose worries and hopes will feel familiar despite the eighty years that separate her world from that of modern readers.
As well as watching Dawn blossom into a strong and independent young woman, readers will benefit from a detailed account of what wartime America looked like, based on true stories and offering thought-provoking depictions of rationing, sexism, and military service. After the story, nearly 50 pages of real-life photographs from WWII America, the WASPS, and the attack at Oahu accompany a discussion of the history behind the novel’s setting and help bring the realities of WWII to life.
Review Source: The Children’s Book Review
"...overarching themes of hope, joy, and love..."— Foreword Clarion Reviews
“With overarching themes of hope, joy, and love, the delightful historical novel Flying Fillies follows a girl who dreams of becoming a pilot as she meets and assists military women who are already working in that capacity.”
Review Source: Foreword Clarion Review
"Loved it! A fun YA novel with some real WWII history disguised inside its pages." — Reedsy Discovery
In Christy Hui’s appealing YA novel, Flying Fillies, The Sky’s the Limit, twelve-year-old Dawn Springfield can’t wait to get away from Chicago. She’s moving to Sweetwater, Texas to live with her grandpa and become a cowgirl or a fighter pilot: she spends most of this exuberant novel trying to decide which one is right for her. All she really knows is she loves horses and she love airplanes, and Sweetwater, Texas has both. Her grandpa’s horse ranch is minutes away from Avenger Field, home of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs for short. The time period is early in World War II, with many references made to actual happenings from the war years.
The action revolves around Dawn but includes many of the lady pilots she comes to know as she performs odd jobs around Avenger Field. She idolizes the pilots, one of whom happens to be her own Aunt Georgia. She gives them all a pet-name, The Flying Fillies. In between times at the airfield, Dawn rides and tames a real-life filly, Rose, gifted to her by her grandpa–by turns, nurturing her dream of becoming either a cowgirl or a pilot. Despite some anachronisms in the dialogue, the scenes with the lady pilots are lighthearted, even rollicking at times, although a few do deal with alcoholic beverage consumption.
Ultimately, though, the book is about the WASP program during WWII where young women were recruited and trained to become ferry pilots for the Army Air Corps. Their duties included delivering various aircraft all around the country, from factories to training bases and repair stations to combat units awaiting deployment to the European or Pacific fronts. A fact-based Afterword, accompanied by archival photos, describes the training and the experiences of the actual WASPs stationed at Avenger Field, and acknowledges their significant and often overlooked contribution to the war effort.
A fun story with excellent historical details for readers, girls in particular, on the lower end of the YA (12-18) age range.
Review Source: Reedsy Discovery
"An engrossing tale of women fighting for a chance to defend their country." — Kirkus Reviews
In this debut middle-grade novel, a tween girl in the World War II era finds inspiration in female fighter pilots.
Dawn Springfield’s family moves from Chicago to Sweetwater, Texas, to be closer to her grandfather. The 12-year-old girl is devastated by the recent losses of her grandmother and a beloved horse, and she dreads visits from her perpetually angry, always working salesman dad. But things soon look up. She makes a new friend; she gets a new horse; and she reunites with her fighter pilot aunt. Georgia Wells had flown planes for the British Royal Air Force since before America’s involvement in the war. Unfortunately, once the United States joined the conflict, her squadron of female pilots was told to “go home.” Still, the women can offer their skills in Texas, where they’ll ferry damaged, new, and repaired planes to wherever they’re needed. That’s also where Dawn becomes a volunteer for the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. While she’s already in awe of her “fearless,” adventurous aunt, Dawn befriends myriad women who fight to sit in the cockpit, despite the country’s apparent reluctance to accept female pilots. Though Hui’s novel is primarily from a tween’s perspective, there are plenty of spotlights on the historically based pilots. The varied bunch includes those who flew with Georgia in Britain and new recruits in Texas. They face obstacles not just as women grappling for their place in aviation, but as individuals with their own personal lives as well. Dawn, meanwhile, is a superb young hero who takes jerks in stride, be they bullies or her father. Her ambition and her admiration for these pilots are infectious . . . .
An engrossing tale of women fighting for a chance to defend their country.
Review Source: Kirkus Reviews
"I’m delighted to see the WASP story spotlighted in this engaging historical fiction..." The National WASP WWII Museum
“The WASP were some of the bravest female pilots in American history—an elite flying squadron that offered invaluable service to the country in WWII . . . . Now kids across the globe can learn about these extraordinary women through this inspiring tale.”
Review Source: Lisa Taylor, Executive Director, The National WASP WWII Museum
"One book that will be a must read, for sure, is a new historical kids’ action/adventure story . . . called Flying Fillies . . . ." — That Bald Chick
One book that will be a must read, for sure, is a new historical kids’ action/adventure story that shines a spotlight on the heroic, unsung WASP of WW2. It’s called Flying Fillies. This book is set against the backdrop of Pearl Harbor in the early days of World War II. Formed to free up male pilots for battlefield roles abroad, the WASP program trained female pilots for domestic ferrying and other duties. These brave women are often overlooked in our history lessons, so I want to make sure that we learn about them this year. This one may end up being a read aloud for all of us!
Review Source: Virginia, That Bald Chick
"Flying Fillies is an illuminating new book inspired by historical events. . . " We Are The Mighty
Flying Fillies is an illuminating new book inspired by historical events that introduces readers to the brave Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) female pilots of World War II.
A few years ago, author Christy Hui was reading through the obituary section of a newspaper when she came across a woman who had served as a WASP in World War II. She had never heard of the program. After speaking to a WWII expert and realizing he didn’t know about the program either, Hui set out to educate children and adults about this often forgotten but proud chapter of American history.
“I want children and adults to know about these women, who were important, impactful, and overlooked,” Hui told We Are The Mighty. Growing up in China, Hui soon discovered that history was sanitized by her government — only stories that fit Communist narrative were approved. When her family immigrated to America, it became important to discover the truth. Many World War II stories champion white men, but there were minorities, people of color, and women who rose above discrimination to do their part to fight the Axis.
And some of those women were the WASPs.
“The world still needs to be reminded that racism and discrimination holds us back,” affirmed Hui, who researched the WASPs with the help of the National WASP WWII Museum in Sweetwater, Texas.
The WASP program trained over a thousand pilots in order to “free men to fight.” These women became flight training instructors and glider tow pilots, flying missions like towing targets for air-to-air and anti-aircraft gunnery practice, engineering test flying, ferrying aircraft, and other duties. WASPs were capable of flying any aircraft in the U.S. arsenal, including the P-51 Mustang and B-29 Superfortress, often remarked by men as being difficult to fly.WASPs were classified as civilians and received no military or funeral benefits until 1977 when President Jimmy Carter finally gave WASPs veteran status. Still to this day, their stories remain largely untold. Enter Hui’s chapter book Flying Fillies, named for the affectionate moniker given to the WASPs. Told from the perspective of a young cowgirl from Texas, Flying Fillies encourages children to follow their dreams, cultivate their strength and character, and remember that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things.
Review Source: We Are The Mighty
A historical fiction book for children 8 & up. This story is inspired by the female pilots in WW2
Watch the WASP trainees undergo intense training for their flying missions. Captured at The National WASP WWII Museum, Sweetwater, Texas.