I stumbled upon Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien randomly at my local library as they had it on display. I read the synopsis and was immediately captivated and wanted to learn more about these five daring women who defied all the odds in aviation history. It was not a topic that I was familiar with minus my limited knowledge of Amelia Earnhart and of Beverly Bass who was flying a plane on 9/11 and was one of the pilots diverted to Gander, Newfoundland. Captain Bass is a feature character in my favorite musical Come From Away which is how I know a little bit more about her.
Fly Girls focuses on five of the first female aviators in American history. Their names were Florence Klingensmith, Ruth Elder, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, and Louise Thaden. And they were each heroic women in their own right defying what was perceived as “normal” during their lifetime. Each of these women wanted to be a pilot and fought hard to defy multiple odds to accomplish their goals.
I really enjoyed the author Keith O’Brien’s discussion on these women. The text was not dry and instead made for an easy and enjoyable read. I loved learning about each of the women. I also found it interesting the comparisons which the author made in regards to the “logical reasons” that women should not be pilots (i.e.; more crashes, heightened emotions, physical limitations), when there were male pilots who were experiencing the same exact thing and yet were still allowed to fly. It honestly made me laugh out loud because some of the restrictions were so far fetched and it was amazing to read about these women trying to defy all of them and often succeeding.
I learned quite a bit from reading Fly Girls that I did not know before in regards to the history of aviation and the influence of female pilots. The rate of pay a women received as an aviator was also influenced during this period of time and some of the women banded together to try and change this. These women were very influential and heroic individuals and I wish I had known about them before reading this book. I would recommend that you check it out so that you can get the same opportunity that I did.
**Today starts Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week (WOAW) which is a global aviation awareness week for girls of all ages observed to mark the anniversary of the world’s first female pilot license (March 8, 1910)**
Rating: 4 Stars