FLYING FILLIES is an adventure book for children about female pilots and growing up in World War 2.
A surprise attack on Pearl Harbor plunges America into World War II! Defeat would mean a future too horrible to imagine, so every American must play their part, including 12-year-old Dawn Springfield. As if she didn’t have enough to worry about. Grieving over her beloved horse, Dawn is coping with moving, starting a new school, making new friends—and enemies. Now she has Hitler to deal with as well.
Undeterred, Dawn volunteers at nearby Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. Her aunt Georgia has joined the WASP—Women Airforce Service Pilots—a program that trains female pilots to fly military planes to relieve their male counterparts desperately needed on the battlefront. Only a few will be chosen; even fewer will survive the training—some won’t survive at all.
Through laughter and tears, triumph and disaster, Dawn watches the Flying Fillies, her nickname for the WASP, overcome every obstacle and soar to new heights. Their stories and sacrifice inspire her coming of age.
Highly recommended by educators, parents, and teachers, this historical fiction book for children makes for an excellent resource to supplement the history curriculum in schools. And for parents who teach their kids at home, this is an excellent addition to the homeschool books.
Flying Fillies showcases a LOOKING BACK section with vivid historical photos to bring to life real WW2 WASP in training, thanks to the support of the National WASP WWII Museum in Sweetwater, Texas.
This children’s book also includes ample archival images from war bonds to victory gardens and canning to illustrate the time and WWII history.
A GLOSSARY enriches the historical details, including prominent WWII figures, popular 1940s terms, and other pertinent facts.
A WW2 book for kids, Flying Fillies themes personal growth, female empowerment, and building self-confidence through learning and doing. This inspiring story shares positive core values, including:
- Dream big.
- Seek positive role models.
- Volunteer for worthy causes.
- Keep a positive attitude.
- Develop early wins in life, no matter how small. These wins help build self-confidence.
- Be kind and respectful.
- Embrace failures, for failures are the mother of success.
- Develop self-worth: knowledge, confidence, integrity.
- Focus on your goals, and learn to say “no” to distractions.
- Be an active listener. A good listener learns more.
- Never stop trying. Keep moving forward.
- Never stop learning. Knowledge is power.
- Believe in yourself.
- Mama knows best, and grandmas are softies.
Here are what a few reviewers have to say about Flying Fillies:
“An engrossing tale of women fighting for a chance to defend their country.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Flying Fillies is a top recommendation for libraries . . . . The engrossing history and psychological pull of the story bring the era and its women to life . . . . Advanced elementary to middle-grade readers receive an enlightening tale of World War II . . .” — Midwest Book Review
“Flying Fillies is inspirational and informative—perfect for fans of historical fiction and horse lovers alike.” — The Children’s Book Review
Dylan Curtis –
I read the first chapter aloud to my kids. They were enjoying the banter between Dawn and Samantha, (giggled at Samantha calling the town Dawn was moving to Stinkwater) and then it was bedtime.
After putting them to bed, I kept going and read the whole book. That’s my first compliment to pay the author; the flow, character development and story arc are wonderful.
Another reason I loved this book is that a young girl is the central character and she has a lot of personal character. Dawn dreams big dreams, and more importantly, acts with purpose to achieve them.
I am excited for my daughter to read the rest of the book, and hope she wants to emulate Dawn by getting back on the horse every time she’s bucked off, by volunteering and serving for causes she believes in, by choosing good friends and courageously dealing with bullies.
There’s lots of entertaining dialogue throughout which is probably a big reason I kept binge-reading.
The final reason I’m recommending this book is the historical value. I’d never heard of the WASP program, or balloon bombs and it was fun to spend time down the Google rabbit hole about these subjects after I finished the book. The photos at the back of the book are also very cool.
Read it, I think you’ll love it too.
Flying Fillies got me hooked right from the start. As a junior high teacher, I know early teen girls love horses. I was excited that this book started with a change in life for a 12 year old girl and how she coped with the changes along with the excitement of a horse. The book continued to weave in the story about horses. I don’t want to give too much away.
I was highly interested in the women pilots and how WASP program came to be. I had heard of them, but this book brought it to life. There was an impressive amount of information at the end of the book.
I really liked all of the character building situations that the writer incorporated in the story line. This would relate to any 12 year old girl and others.
I love this book and would highly recommend it to early teens and up.
Rai B –
Historical fiction that explores the hardships and accomplishments of a 12 year Dawn, who’s life is upended as her family moves to Texas from Chicago to be closer to her grandfather. She has to deal with bullies, death, and adjusting to life in a new place. Her grandfather trains horses for racing and it’s always been her dream to have her own horse. Her aunt is transferred from England back to the US to participate in an experimental military program to train female pilots to aid in the war effort. As the base (Avenger Field) is located just a short distance from her new home, Dawn volunteers to assist however she can and becomes friends with the WASPs and integral to the operations of the base.
I love that there is an entire section at the end of the book that has historical photos of the era as well as the WASPs and Avenger Field. These days, it’s very common for women and people of color to be in the military, but back in WWII times were different and women and people of color didn’t have the same rights or were considered inferior and sadly, most of today’s school curriculum overlooks this.
I’m a bit of a history fan when it comes to WWII, so even though this is billed as a novel for young adults, I enjoyed it because it gives a glimpse in to something that isn’t covered a lot…. the role women played in the military in WWII.
I’m hoping the author continues Dawn’s story, because there is a ton of potential for future novels!