Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sky High Marissa Moss Carl Angel

Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee by Marissa Moss illustrated by Carl Angel This is the story of Maggie Gee one of only two Chinese American women to serve in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program during WWII.

The book is broken up into two parts. First we get to know a young Maggie, who loved to go to the airport with her family on Sunday and watch the airplanes take off. Maggie's mother and grandmother would share stories about growing up in China. Maggie enjoyed these stories but she wanted a few stories of her own. Then the war came.

Maggie Gee decided to do her part and make her dream come true at the same time.

"I had read about a group of women pilots called the WASP, or Women Airforce Service Pilots. They flew planes on training missions and ferried bombers to military airbases. I knew right away that I wanted to join them. I wold be doing something important for the war, and I would be able to fly. If I could only earn my wings."

Moss has done an excellent job with the text. This book is perfect for a young readers first or fifth picture book about WWII. There is a little something for everyone. Carl Angel's illustrations arebeautiful and a perfect fit. There is much action and color to keep young readers interested.

One of my favorite pages is the transition from a young Maggie to the Maggie who will fly.

"Many Sundays Passed, and now we were too old for lollipops. I didn't tell stories anymore but I still dreamed of flying."

Its takes up two pages- Maggie is standing alone on the grass, her arms are out like a plane, eyes closed, her larger then life shadow spreading across the empty field. There is something very beautiful about this picture to me. Angel and Moss make you feel Maggie's dream.

Moss includes more information about Maggie Gee and WASP in the author's note. Also there are some wonderful photographs in the back, including one of Maggie in her uniform and Maggie's mother building Liberty ships, hardhat and all. Sky High is a wonderful look at Maggie Gee, a woman who didn't allow her gender or race to curtail her dreams. ages 5 up

Also check out Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story by Paula Yoo. The story of the first Chinese actress in Hollywood. my review


Tarie Sabido said...

I really want to read this book! :o) Thanks for featuring it, Doret. I think it's an important story.

Doret said...

It really is a great read.

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

I just listened to Maggie Gee, Marissa Moss & Carl Angel at a local bookstore - very inspiring! I especially loved how Maggie Gee told students to "strive for your dreams". If you want to do it, then go after it.

Doret, I absolutely agree with your view that this book is great for young kids. It's a stretch for my 5 year old to understand the history, but she really enjoyed it. It's very accessible. A lovely, uplifting story.