Saturday, May 12, 2012

No-nonsense Nonfiction: Sky High review

This week was "Young Authors," where area students get to meet a children's author and do all sorts of fun stuff.  Marissa Moss was the featured author, and I got to meet her at a book signing one evening.  She signed all of her books we have in the school collection, plus the one I bought at the event.  The newest book is the one I'd like to tell you about today: Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee.
Checkouts: New to the library
Typical reader: Early elementary children who like airplanes and/or pilots, or those in need of a biography
Source: Personally purchased from Snowbound Books

Synopsis: Maggie Gee tells her life story, of how she became a pilot for the WASP during World War II.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars

This is one of those books I had to buy after hearing the author talk about writing it.  Ms. Moss heard about Maggie Gee and contacted her, since the two lived in the same general vicinity.  Ms. Gee agreed to tell her story, and the author created this book.  It took several years to get it published, but the timing when it was published was perfect - the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) were finally being recognized in 2009 by Congress with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Maggie Gee's story is very inspirational.  The narrative speaks of her dreams of becoming a pilot and of reaching that goal.  She made her not-yet-true-stories become real.  That's beautiful.  The illustrations of this biographical picture book are lovely, but the most gorgeous thing is how it encourages children to pursue their ambitions.

This book can be tied nicely to many lesson plans.  Maggie Gee was one of only two Asian-American women in the WASP, and part of the book touches briefly on that, when she meets a male pilot who clearly worries that she's a spy or something for the Japanese.  Discuss race relations during World War II with the students, as appropriate to their age.  Talk about what services the WASP provided during the war.  Did you know that these women were shot at with live ammunition during in-air fight exercises, and some died due to friendly fire?  Or, take a more general approach and teach students about women's efforts during the war.  There's a lot of material out there, and this is a good place to start.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a nice addition to the collection. It seems like a pretty interesting subject.