Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee
by Marissa Moss, illustrated by Carl Angel
Tricycle Press, 2009
Maggie Gee was one of two Chinese-American women to serve as military pilots in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program during World War II.
A little known story, Marissa Moss and Carl Angel bring Maggie Gee’s story to life. While other families in the 1930’s watched baseball games, Maggie’s family watched airplanes take off from the San Francisco airport. Maggie’s dream was to fly, an unheard of feat for a women, not to mention a Chinese-American one. Her hero was Amelia Earhart. Her family teased her, saying she was only telling stories, but when Pearl Harbor was attacked, she quit her studies and joined WASP. When she completed flight school, she send home a post card saying, ‘My story is true.’ The story includes one encounter with another American pilot who did not know her and she was mistaken for an enemy spy!
An inspiring story. An appendix outlines Maggie Gee’s accomplishments, including that she later went on to work as a physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley Labs.
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Violet the Pilot
By Steve Breen
Dial Books, 2008
Amelia Bloomer Award
Violet reads Popular Science magazine and prefers to play with monkey wrenches and needle-nose pliers. She is a mechanical genius. Fortunately her parents manage a junk yard, so she has easy access to stuff. By the time she turns eight, she is building elaborate machines—that fly! She makes a Bicycopter, a Rocket Can and a Pogo Plane. At school she eats alone and classmates tease her. A poster announcing an air show, engages her dreams and she decides to enter in the show a flying machine. She gives it a test flight and it passes with flying colors. On the way to the air show, she spots a group of boy scouts that are having canoe trouble. Realizing she will forgo the air show, she flies down to rescue the scouts. From the hospital she waves good bye, but it is 3:30 and she missed the air show. But, later that night she hears a crowd calling out, “THERE’S OUR HERO!” The press, mayor, fire and police chiefs, along with kids from her school are outside. The major awards her a medal of valor as a token of their gratitude and esteem. And wait until you see the last page–Violet’s real reward!
Wake up the dreams in your imaginative young reader!
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